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Correspondence § Reminiscences 

William Renick. 



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ESTAB. 1817. 


T the suggestion of many friends, from time to time, that 
I should publish in book or pamphlet form, my contribu- 
tions to different newspapers at various times, and articles 
which I had furnished for public reports, etc., I have at length — 
though not without much hesitation — concluded to comply with their 
advice, although many of my earlier articles, as well as several of 
later date, were lost before I took the matter of publication into 

I also include some articles on political economy, and other 
subjects which agitated the public mind at the time of writing, 
believing, that if collected into one volume, the book, as small as 
it is, may possibly serve some purposes for future reference, espe- 
cially in relation to matters that have already become, by reason of 
lapse of time, well nigh traditional. 

I wish here to remark that I have rarely written anything for 
publication, except at the special request of persons holding promi- 
nent positions, or upon the publication of some subject matter which 
I thought demanded a reply. And I have thought it not improper 
to preface the book with a very brief genealogy of the Renick 
family, and a short autobiographical sketch of myself. If the reader 
of the book shall find its contents either interesting or instructive, 
even in a moderate degree, my purpose will be fully realized. 

Wm. Renick. 


Genealogy of the Eenick Family, 

Autobiographical Sketch of the Life of Wm, Renick, 

Cattle and Cattle Trade of the West, 

Drovers and Butchers, 

Death of George Eenick, 

The Currency, . . 

The North and the South, 

Blue Grass, . . . . 

The Patton Cattle and Short-Horns, 

The Beatty Hog, • . 

Early Cattle Trade in Ohio and Kentucky, 

Introduction of Thoroughbred Cattle into Ohio, 

Revenue Tariff, 

Is There a Pig Iron Monopoly? . 

Revenue Reform and Low Wages, 

Free Traders and Their Organs, 

Logan's Tree, 

Hard Times in the Early Days, 

The Ohio Canal Projectors, 

A Cheerful View, 

The Early Anti-Slavery Movement, 

A Country Observer in Cincinnati, 

The Currency and the Dollar of the Daddies, 

The Daddies' Dollar Again, 

A Pioneer Cattle Drover, . 

Early Stock History, 

Reminiscences of an Old Native, 

Reminiscences of Sixty Years Ago, 

Appendix — Turnpikes, 






CJ^^HE genealogy of the Renick family is only traditional. From 
the accounts handed down in the family we learn that our 
progenitors emigrated from Germany, with many other fam- 
ilies, to Scotland, to escape religious persecution. After a time a 
part of the family, at least, removed to Colerain county, Ireland. 
In the mean time the name had undergone a change from Rinewick 
to Ren wick, probably to suit the dialect of the country. 

In process of time one of three brothers of our ancestral stock 
was created a peer of the realm, and he purchased the property of 
the other two, and they, with their father, emigrated to America. 
The peer, not being able to pay the purchase money at the time, 
engaged to send it to them within a specified period. This proved a 
fortunate arrangement for the brothers, as it happened that the 
vessel in which they embarked was plundered by Black Beard, the 
pirate, but their money came safely to hand at the stated time. 

During this voyage the following incident is said to have occurred: 
When the pirates boarded the vessel old man Ren wick was asleep; 
the noise awakening him, he started to find out the cause of the 
confusion. He encountered the pirates in the act of opening a box 
of candles, and exclaimed, "Hoot! toot! what is all the fuss about?" 
The villains said they would stop his mouth, so they thrust a candle 
down his throat. 


The brothers above mentioned, with their father, settled first in 
Eastern Pennsylvania, at least they appear to have remained there 
until they received their money ; afterwards they removed to Hardy 
county, Virginia, on the south branch of the Potomac river, and 
from that point their descendants scattered in various directions, 
some south to James river, others to Greenbrier county, Virginia, 
others still to the States of Kentucky, Missouri and Ohio. In the 
meantime the spelling of the name had undergone two more changes, 
first from Renwick to Rennick, then later one of the n's was dropped, 
making the name spell Renick, as at present. 

There is one characteristic of this large family to which I think 
I may refer without impropriety. Although the family has been 
in the country for over two hundred years, and although for a 
considerable portion of that period it has been scattered over many 
different and widely separated localites, yet there appears to have 
existed among its members from the first a singular unanimity of 
sentiment in eschewing public life. Men of wealth and large 
influence have abounded in the family. It is apparent, however, 
that they have uniformly been well-nigh devoid of political aspera- 
tions, and, without being indifferent to the public welfare, to have 
preferred a more retired, unassuming and independent life. That 
this disposition has not interfered with their usefulness as members 
of society is shown by the fact that for several generations past, at 
least, the members of the family have generally been enterprising 
and public spirited, taking an active, if not a leading, part in every 
scheme or enterprise that presented a fair promise of resulting 
beneficially, either to their respective communities or to the country 
at large. 




If in narrating some of the incidents which occurred during my 
youthful days — events indelibly fixed on my memory — I should 
seemingly exhibit a tendency to egotism, I hope any such appearance 
will be overlooked. I shall endeavor to state facts only, without 
exaggeration, and to refer only to such as will, in my judgment, be 
either entertaining or instructive. 

My parents were both natives of Hardy county, Virginia. My 
father, George Renick, and my mother, Dorothy Harness, were 
married on the 27th day of September, 1802, and immediately there- 
after removed to Chillicothe, Ohio, where I was born on the 12th of 
November, 1804. 

I was the second child, the first born having died in infancy. 
Immediately on my father's arrival at Chillicothe he opened a store 
on quite an extensive scale for those days. The goods were pur- 
chased in Baltimore prior to his marriage. Although my father was 
raised on a farm, he had had considerable experience in merchandis- 
ing in Moorfield, Virginia. He moreover possessed ample means for 
carrying on an extensive trade, and besides his credit was excellent 
in Baltimore, as well as in all other quarters with which he had 
business connections. 

The journey of my parents from Moorfield, Virginia, to Chillicothe, 
Ohio, was made in a very unique style as compared with the present 


modes of travel. They made the trip by way of Clarksburg, now in 
West Virginia, on horseback, with several pack horses in the 
train in addition to the riding horses. General James Renick, 
formerly of Pickaway county, but long since deceased, assisted 
my father in his removal. He used to tell of an amusing incident 
that happened on that journey. Among the pack horses was 
a half Indian pony, whose load in part consisted of two large 
feather beds, and in descending the side of a mountain ridge where 
the path or trail (there was no road) was quite steep, the pony 
stumbled and fell down and rolled over and over till he landed 
against a tree some distance below the path, heels up, and in an 
entirely helpless condition. Another assistant in that journey was 
James Davis, who before his death became, in public estimation, 
much the richest farmer in the Scioto Valley, but was then about as 
poor as the poorest. 

When I was about five years old my father, who had a year or two 
previously quit merchandising, removed to the hill in the immediate 
vicinity of the town, where he had erected a commodious stone 
house. This locality, being quite a retired one, increased my already 
very diffident and bashful disposition. My new home being nearly 
a mile from the school house, I was not sent to school until I was 
near seven years old. I dreaded the day when I would have to start; 
the mere mention of my going to school greatly worried me. 

I well remember the trouble my father had to get me to school for 
the first time. He took me on horseback. I endeavored all the way 
to jump off and escape, but he held on to me and fairly dragged me 
to the school room door and requested the teacher to lock the door 
and take the key, which he did. The teacher was very kind and 
attentive to me, so much so, indeed, that he did not go home to 
dinner, as was his usual custom, fearing I would run off. The next 
day I was less disinclined to go, and within a week after it would 
have required a positive prohibition to have kept me at home. Only 
a short time thereafter my mother told me I must not go to school 


on a certain day, because "it was too rainy and bad, and there was 
no one to take me." I watched my opportunity and gave her the 
slip, and off' I went through the rain and mud ; but as a consequence, 
I had to go without lunch that day. 

A little over a year later I was taken violently sick at school, at 
noon time, and had lain down on a bench, where, when the teacher 
arrived, I was asleep. He saw that I had a high fever, and ordered 
the boys not to awaken me. I aroused just before my class had to 
spell. The teacher said I was too sick to spell, and that he had 
ordered a horse for one of the larger scholars to take me home. I 
did not want to go, however, and begged him to let me spell that 
time, saying I would have to "go foot" if I missed a lesson. He 
replied that he would allow me to "go head" when I came back, and 
he asked all the boys in the class individually if they would not 
agree to this arrangement, to which each and all of them cheerfully 
gave their consent. I, nevertheless, succeeded in persuading the 
teacher to let me spell that time, though I was too sick to stand up. 
I remained at the head of the class to the end of that spelling. The 
teacher soon dismissed the school and took me home himself, where 
I remained for weeks without again seeing the schoolhouse. 

In the Spring of 1814 my father took his family to the south 
branch of the Potomac, Hardy county, Virginia, my parents' native 
land, where we made a protracted stay. During this visit my mother 
frequently called on a lady residing in Moorfield, who was her 
special friend. This lady, observing my bashful disposition, 
prevailed upon my mother (my father being then absent) to allow 
me to attend dancing school as a means of assisting me to overcome 
my bashfulness. I was accordingly placed under the instructions of 
a dancing master named Zupee (who lived next door), being then 
less than ten years of age, and with one-half quarter's tuition, 
owing to the very careful attention of my preceptor, I became so 
proficient in the art that he complimented me, by placing me at the 
head of the dance at the opening on exhibition day, when all the 


parents and friends were present; a distinction, however, I did not 
at all appreciate at the time. My mother was well pleased with the 
result of her experiment. 

Mr. James Machir, who was for many years a resident of Pickaway 
county, but for some years deceased, was a participator in that 
dance, and he often alluded to it and my red morocco dancing shoes. 
This was about the time Washington city was burned by the British, 
and I well remember the consternation the news created among the 
people about Moorfield, particularly among the women, many of 
whom were greatly alarmed. The news did not reach Moorfield till 
after the dancing exhibition, or it would not have gone off with so 
much eclat. My father was in Washington with a lot of very fine 
horses till after the landing of the British at Bladensburg, when he 
left for Baltimore by a roundabout way in order to evade British 
scouts. The horses met with quick sale, so many people were fleeing 
from that city, fearing it was the real point of attack instead of 

In the Spring of 1820 I had expected to have entered college at 
Transylvania University, Lexington, Kentucky, an event for which 
I had been preparing for two years or more. My father's health, 
however, was delicate, and as he had a large business to superintend, 
he concluded he could not do without my assistance. These 
circumstances led to the abandonment of my father's original design, 
that I should receive a classical education; although several of his 
friends, including two or three lawyers, advised him to send me to 
such an institution as a preparation for the study of the law. To 
such suggestions my father generally replied, that he thought there 
were enough "buckeye" lawyers already. 

In compliance with his wishes, I at once, at the early age of fifteen 
and a half years, entered upon an active and self-reliant business 
career, which called for the exercise of much judgment and tact in 
its successful prosecution, and necessitating the riding on horseback 
of full five thousand miles on an average each year, resulting in an 


impairment of my whole nervous system, from which I have to this 
day never fully recovered. I was, however, although so young, by 
no means a novice, having assisted my father more or less for several 
years previously, as occasion required. I continued for five years 
and a half to assist my father in the management of his business, 
except during a few months when I attended school to review and 
partially complete my elementary mathematical studies. Although 
my education was very defective, it was sufficient for general practical 

The defects were, to some extent, at least, remedied by the fact 
that I had a great taste for reading. I had, moreover, an excellent 
memory. My reading was confined chiefly to instructive books, 
geographical, historical and statistical, discarding novels. Shakspere 
was a favorite book with me. 

"Each change of many colored life he drew, 
Exhausted worlds and then imagined new." 

— Johnston. 

My mother constantly encouraged my taste for reading, sometimes 
doing my work herself rather than disturb me. I remember on one 
occasion when I was reading Shakspere she wished to know if I 
understood what I was reading; I replied I thought I did or I would 
not read the book; she remarked that she thought I was too young 
to understand it well. I then cited to her the above lines, and she 
seemed satisfied. These were two of some eight or ten or more 
lines that prefaced or was a prologue to the contents of the book I 
was then reading. My last teacher pronounced me to be one of the 
best geographers, for one of my age, with whom he was acquainted, 
although I had never studied geography as much as one day at 
school, having learned all I knew about it at home. My retired 
situation greatly promoted my natural inclination for self-improve- 
ment. I rarely, if ever, visited the town after nightfall, unless upon 
special occasions, or when duty demanded it. 

My mother died when I was about sixteen years old, leaving nine 
children, the youngest, now Mrs. Nelson J. Turney, being only a few 


weeks old. She was a woman of much force of character. She 
was not only a great economist and manager, but she possessed 
quick perceptive faculties, was a close observer of facts and incidents, 
an excellent judge of values, a quick accountant, with a very 
retentive memory, and withal was quite competent to take charge of 
and manage the store during my father's long absence (twice a year) 
to the Eastern cities to purchase goods; and besides his large landed 
estate required more or less of his personal attention. In the Spring 
of 1826 I commenced business on my own account, as a farmer, 
including the raising, grazing and feeding of cattle, and have been 
engaged in that business, upon a more or less extensive scale, ever 
since, and at times during that period extensively engaged in driving, 
and afterwards in shipping cattle by railroad to the Eastern markets. 

I was married on the 8th of May, 1827, to Miss Jane Sterling 
Boggs, a daughter of a well-to-do pioneer farmer of 1798, who died 
during his daughter's childhood. She died August the 5th, 1841, 
leaving one child, a son, who died February 18th, 1855, aged 28 
years, unmarried. I was again married February 18th, 1846, to 
Mrs. Sarah B. Delano, nee Miss Sarah B. Denny, youngest daughter 
of General James Denny. She died, without issue during our 
wedded life, June 10th, 1873. On the 30th of July, 1874, I was 
married to my present wife, Miss Josie Pearce, daughter of Mr. 
Lewis Pearce, deceased, of Lancaster, Ohio. 

Although my career since my majority has been neither an inactive 
nor a monotonous one (and I flatter myself that I have not been 
remiss in public spirit, although I have labored from an early age 
under the dire misfortune of a partial, and for the last twenty-five 
years a total, want of hearing), the foregoing incidents are all which I 
deem proper to mention in this work. I will, therefore, in conclusion, 
although perhaps not germane to an autobiography, give place to 
some, reflections which often recur to me upon the marvelous change 
that has taken place in the condition, situation and general aspect 
of the country at large within my remembrance, embracing the 


unprecedented rapid increase of population, with all its com com i tan ts, 
and also the wonderful progress made in the development of the 
country's vast and varied resources. This growth and development 
is no doubt in part due to the rapid advancement made in the 
arts and sciences which has stimulated industries, by directing and 
facilitating the methods by which crude articles could be utilized 
and made serviceable to an extent not before conceivable, or perhaps 
dreamed of by the most visionary enthusiast. 

I think it not impropable that the present era of three score and 
ten years, now drawing to a close, will, in the future, be denominated 
and cited as the grand age of progress. I do not presume to say that 
the acme of enlightenment has, by any means, been reached, but 
that such colossal results, flowing from new inventions, will not 
probably be attainable hereafter to an extent at all comparable, in 
the same limit of time, with those of the past seventy years. 

Can it be that the world is yet to witness future triumphs of 
genius as will work such amazing revolutions in ways and means 
as have been brought about by navigation by steam, railroads, 
telegraphs, photography, cylinder printing presses, cotton gins, 
sewing and planing machines, reapers, mowers, threshers, grain 
elevators, india-rubber and numberless other industries of lesser 

Moreover, what an impressive theme for contemplation presents 
itself to observant persons who have lived to witness the marvelous 
transition from the slow, laborious and frugal customs which 
prevailed sixty or seventy years ago, to those of speed, comfort, 
luxury, and I may add, prodigality and extravagance of the past 
decade. And no less marvelous have been the changes of scenes 
and scenery throughout the country at large, particularly as 
exhibited by the tremendous growth and enlargement of the cities 
and towns with their miles upon miles of magnificent structures, 
public and private, where only unsightly, if not wholly barren, wastes 
were to be seen sixty years ago. 



[The following article was originally written for and appeared in the 
United States Census report of 1860, at the earnest request of J. C. G. 
Kennedy, Chief of the Agricultural Bureau of the Department of the 
Interior. The notes were appended at the request of Hon. T. C. Jones, 
President, and Hon. J. H. Klippart, Secretary of the Ohio State Agricultural 

It was not long after the settlement of the interior of Ohio before 
the earlier pioneers perceived the absolute necessity for a market for 
the product of the soil. They had cast their lot in the midst of an 
extensive new country, where the land was eminently fertile; and 
the question, how could the product of that soil be advantageously 
disposed of, received their early and earnest consideration. The 
early great immigration would furnish a market for the time being, 
but the rapidly increasing production would soon outstrip this 
consumption, and to attempt to transport the surplus grain in its 
primitive bulky state was out of the question. The great distance 
from market would require it to be condensed to its smallest 
possible compass. The article of wheat might be made into flour, 
and by means of flatboats and barges floated out of the tributaries 
of the Ohio river, thence down that stream and the Mississippi to 
New Orleans. This was the only practical way open, and that only, 
to any great extent, for the one product — flour; and notwithstanding 
the hazards and hardships to be encountered in that trade at an 
early day, the extreme scarcity of money, combined with the restless 
and daring character of the young men of that period, it was entered 
into with a will, and for a time the enterprise was generally 
remunerative, and oftentimes highly so. The trials and hardships of 


a flatboat voyage to New Orleans before the days of steamboats are 
but little appreciated by the present generation. To float a boat 
down to New Orleans was easy enough, provided they got safely out 
of the smaller streams; but the return trip of one thousand miles by 
land, the greater part of the way through an uninhabited and almost 
unbroken forest, was generally made on foot, and if the freshets in 
the smaller streams did not occur until middle or late Spring, these 
trips were oftentimes attended with great mortality. Nevertheless 
the trade flourished, and rapidly increased, until at length, some 
years after the close of the war of 1812, the supply so far outran the 
demand that the business became very precarious, oftentimes 
resulting in a loss to the shipper of almost the entire cargo. The 
consequence was, the price of wheat was reduced so low as no 
longer to be regarded as the staple product of the western farmer, 
and indeed it finally ceased for a time to be a cash article; and it 
was no uncommon sight to see stacks of wheat rotting down in the 
field — twenty-five cents per bushel in store-goods or trade being the 
highest price obtainable by the farmer. 

The large bodies of rich bottom land lying on the borders of the 
tributary streams of the Ohio were not adapted to wheat culture, 
and on the Scioto river much of the land was owned by immigrants 
from the south branch of the Potomac river, Virginia, where the 
feeding of cattle had been carried on for many years in a manner 
peculiar to that locality, and which materially differed from the mode 
practiced in Pennsylvania or further north. The cattle were not 
housed nor sheltered, but simply fed twice a day in open lots of eight 
or ten or more acres each, with unhusked corn with the fodder, and 
followed by hogs to clean up the waste and offall; which practice 
was adopted here, and is still the almost universal method throughout 
the West, having undergone but little or no material change in fifty 
years. It may be worthy of remark here, that the method of 
securing the corn after maturity by cutting oft' the stalks near the 
ground, and stacking it in the field where it was grown in stacks of 


from twelve to sixteen hills square, also originated with the feeders 
of cattle of the south branch, the convenience and utility of which 
mode is made manifest by its general prevalence at the present day. 
Although the business of fattening cattle was well understood by 
many of the earlier pioneers, and to find a market for corn was an 
anxious thought, yet they hesitated to engage in it. By many it was 
considered that the great distance from market would render that 
mode of disposing of their surplus corn impracticable; the long drive 
to an eastern market would so reduce the cattle in flesh as to render 
them unfit for beef; but some thought otherwise, and among the 
latter was George Renick, lately deceased, an enterprising and 
intelligent merchant, who, owning a considerable landed estate, 
concluded, himself, to try the experiment. Accordingly in the 
Winter of 18()4-'05, he fed a lot of cattle and sent them to Baltimore 
the following Spring (the first fat cattle that ever crossed the Allegheny 
mountains) ; the result was a complete success. Thus was another 
avenue of trade practically opened, which for half a century 
contributed largely to the wealth of the Scioto valley; and from this 
small beginning the trade increased gradually, but not rapidly, until 
some years after the close of the war, when the failure of wheat to 
command cash gave a great impetus to the raising and feeding of 
cattle and hogs; for, although the selling price of such stock was 
very low, they were the only remaining cash articles of the former, 
and the cost of production was not very carefully considered. 
There was no alternative, as he was obliged to have some money 
wherewith to procure the necessaries of life, pay taxes, etc., and the 
business continued to increase rapidly until about the year 1850, 
notwithstanding the opening of the New York and Ohio canals in 
the meantime had added greatly to the resources of the Ohio farmer, 
by giving him access to a better and more reliable market, enabling 
him to sell for cash, not only his wheat, but every other product of 
the soil at much more remunerating prices than formerly. The 
completion of the great through railroads added still further to the 


farmer's resources, enabling him to diversify his pursuits, and assisted 
in bringing the corn-feeding of cattle, so far as Ohio was concerned, 
to its culminating point. From personal knowledge of the business, 
it is my conviction that since then it has been on the decline. The 
whole number of cattle corn-fattened in Ohio may not have 
perceptibly decreased, but the home consumption, including the 
extensive barrelling, has greatly increased; but the excess or the 
number sent to an eastern market from that region has evidently, 
during the last decade, fallen off, and the cattle of late years are not 
so heavy nor made so fat as formerly. It is my opinion that cattle 
can no longer be corn-fed in Ohio for the great length of time and 
in the profuse manner as formerly, with profit; indeed, in some of the 
largest feeding districts of twenty years ago the business has entirely 
ceased; and I very much question whether the business can be 
profitably carried on as a leading one with the farmer in any locality 
possessing other ordinary modern resources, when the population of 
that locality exceeds fifty inhabitants to the square mile, exclusive 
of populous towns, and can then only be done profitably in a limited 
way, as a secondary or attendant on other pursuits of the farmer, 
and then in a different manner from that now generally pursued. 
The construction of the great through railroads, which tended to 
diminish the corn-feeding of cattle in Ohio, contributed largely to 
its wonderful increase in Illinois and other western States, affording 
them facilities for reaching an eastern market of which they had 
hitherto been almost deprived — the distance the cattle had to travel 
proving actually too great, as the pioneers at first supposed it would, 
from Ohio; and though the railroads also facilitated the transporta- 
tion of fat cattle from Ohio, adding but little to the cost, and saving 
to the drover near or quite one hundred pounds of flesh, on an 
average to each animal, yet, by affording quicker and at all times a 
more certain conveyance for other things as well, particularly the 
article of whisky, and the manufacturers of that article being able 
to pay more for corn than the cattle feeders could possibly afford 


to do, they more than counterbalanced the advantages derived 
therefrom to stock feeding. Hence, in localities favorably situated 
for the sale of corn, the business of feeding it to cattle has become 
a comparatively unimportant one. 

Before the era of railroads, to break the long drive, large numbers 
of stock or store-cattle were annually driven from Illinois and the 
West into Ohio to be fed there, and when made fat were sent to an 
eastern market; but that trade has now become almost obsolete. 
Formerly, too, the driving of stock cattle from Ohio to Pennsylvania 
and the East was conducted on an extensive scale, and indeed that 
trade, during the State's gloomiest pecuniary period, ranked as one 
among her chief resources, always commanding money in hand, 
however low the price might be; but that trade has also ceased, 
except to a comparatively limited extent from the northern part of 
the State into that of New York. 

To avoid misapprehensions, let me here say, that our remarks thus 
far with reference to beef cattle in Ohio apply only to those made 
fat, or mostly so, on corn, as doubtless the number of grass-fattened, 
or those that have been but slightly fed on corn, has largely increased. 
Indeed, the whole business of fattening cattle has undergone a great 
change since the era of railroads. Formerly the great bulk of the 
corn-fed cattle of the West, nine-tenths of which were from Ohio 
and Kentucky, chiefly from Ohio, sent to the eastern markets, 
arrived there between the middle of April and the first of August, 
and the markets of New York, in particular, were chiefly supplied 
from those sources during that time, and grass-fattened cattle were 
sent in the Fall from Ohio in limited numbers, and no cattle arrived 
in those markets from the West during the Winter or first month of 
Spring; but now they are sent at all seasons of the year, and but 
few of those are so heavily corn-fed or made so fat as formerly. In 
a word, there is not near so much corn consumed in fattening cattle 
in Ohio now as there was twelve or fifteen years ago; yet, there are, 
doubtless, many more cattle partially fed now than then, but grass is 


more relied upon to prepare the cattle for market. Nor is there the 
same occasion to make them so solidly fat as formerly, for the 
conveyance to market by railroad is a great saving of flesh over the 
former method of driving. 

It is not to be understood that cattle are better or longer grazed 
than formerly, for the contrary is the fact; but formerly, when the 
business of feeding cattle on the Scioto river was at its height, say 
from 1840 to 1850, to make an A No. 1 lot of fat cattle, the best 
grades were fed some ten to twenty bushels of corn in March and 
April when they were three years old, and other cattle at the age of 
four years; they were then grazed throughout the whole Summer 
and Fall in the best manner, then fed from four to five and a half 
months on all the corn they would eat — say near a half bushel 
per day each before starting to market; cattle that had no corn 
the previous Spring were well grazed and fed from five to six 
months. Quite a common way of prosecuting the business now is to 
commence feeding the cattle in January or February, when less than 
three years old, on corn in limited quantities, substituting more 
fodder or other rough feed, but increasing the quantity of corn in 
March or April, often to full feeding, say from twenty-five to forty 
bushels in the aggregate per head, and these cattle will commence to 
be sent to market by the first of June, and by the first of October by 
far the greater portion will have gone; comparatively few of them, 
perhaps, having been detained to be fed on corn for a month or two 
before starting them. Of course the quality of the beef of cattle so 
young, and handled after this fashion, can bear no comparison with 
that as made by the former method. 

The first introduction into the West of English cattle was made 
by Matthew Patton (hence the name given to that celebrated 
stock), who removed from Hardy county, Virginia, to Kentucky, 
about the year 1793, and brought the cattle with him. Patton 
had obtained the ancestors of this stock of Mr. GofF, of Maryland, 
in 1783, who had then recently imported them from England. 


John Patton, a son of Matthew, removed in 1798 or '99 from 
Kentucky to Chillicothe, Ohio, bringing a part of the same stock 
with him.* Between that time and 1817, occasionally a few other 
animals were introduced, mostly of the same breed, but including 

Mohn Patton, who was a very enterprising and public spirited man, and 
a member of the Ohio Territorial Legislature, as well as his brother 
Matthew, were near neighbors of ours, the creek only dividing their lands 
from father's, and our families were particularly intimate. John Patton 
died shortly after Ohio was admitted as a State, and my father, George 
Renick, and uncle Felix Renick bought his entire stock of blooded cattle at 
the administrator's sale Thus was this celebrated stock introduced into 
Ohio, resulting in almost incalculable benefit to the whole State. The 
English origin of this stock was unknown to the pioneers of the cattle 
trade in this country. Indeed they had scarcely any knowlege of the differ- 
ent breeds then existing in England, further than was derived from the 
general names of long horn, middle horn and short horn, though the names 
of Holderness, Teas water and Bake well were familiar, but the distinct 
characteristics of those breeds were but slightly, if at all, known to them. 
But after long research it is my earnest conviction that the Patton stock 
were of the Bakewell south interior of England improved breed. Because 
at the time of importation, about 1783, that breed had the reputation of 
being the best improved stock in England. In a very voluminous and 
comprehensive treaties of English statistics, embracing all the arts and 
sciences then existing, comprising a description of all manufactures of 
every kind, as well as the different breeds of live stock, grains, grasses, 
etc., collated and published by act of Parliament, and which was many 
years in compiling, filling two very large quarto volumes of 1,200 or 1,500 
pages each, including a vast number of plates, the Bakewell breed of 
cattle was highly commended, and more particularly described than any 
other stock. The Bakewell breed of cattle was a great improvement on the 
Leicester, which was a material improvement on the old Craven or long horn. 
And the description of them given in the treaties alluded to, answered very 
closely to that of the Pattons, including color, which no other stock in 
England did. 

Goff, the importer of the Patton stock, was a merchant of Baltimore, and 
it is not probable that he would import any other than stock of the highest 
repute in England. At that time the short horned Durham was unknown. 
Indeed the great work alluded to (published in 1800 or thereabouts) does not 
even mention the improved Durham as having any existence. Colling had 
only just commenced his improvement, and he had many years' trial before 
he made much progress. And it was not till about 179G that his stock 
attained any general notoriety. Patton was a relative of Goff, as I have 
understood, and as Goff had no way of keeping the stock he transferred 
them to Patton, who was a farmer and cattle man residing in Hardy county, 


some of an importation made by a Mr. Miller, of Maryland, between 
1790 and 1795. These cattle, both Goff and Miller importations, 
were of very large size, and the cows generally good milkers, and 
when first introduced were a fine quality of beef cattle — bone not 
large for the size of the animal — but on account of their great growth 
were longer maturing than the common stock of the country; but in 
the course of time their defects grew upon them ; they became larger, 
coarser, and longer maturing, and of course harder to fatten. This 
change was attributed to rich feed, which was probably the fact. We 
know that poor feed will degenerate, and it was probably this latter 
fact that led Count Buffon, the great European naturalist, to assert 
that all animals, when translated from Europe to America, would 
degenerate. The finest animal of the cow kind I have ever seen was 
of this breed ; in the Fall of 1819 this was six and one-half years old, 
and was estimated to weigh over 2,000 pounds, net beef. His head, 
neck and limbs were remarkably neat, his brisket very deep and 
broad, and he girted immediately behind the shoulders the extra- 
ordinary measure of ten feet five inches, and his back and loin I 
certainly never have seen excelled, if equaled.* I have been thus 

*The large steer referred to was, I think, as near perfection in form and 
quality, as any animal of the cow kind I have ever seen ; and this was the 
general opinion of cattle men. Often the remark was made by visitors that 
they would not want a wider bed than his hack. He was a deep yellow in 
color, with remarkably clear horns, a peculiarity of the pure Patton stock. 
A few years later, in the Fall of 1822, 1 started to New Orleans with a pair of 
large cattle of father's raising. They were twins (a steer and heifer), and on 
account of low water when starting, and showing the cattle at the large 
towns on the river, they were a long time on the way. I left them at Louis- 
ville, and it was then evident that the heifer was fast loosing flesh, yet she 
weighed 1836 pounds net beef in New Orleans. She was sold by the pound, 
and of course the weight was not exaggerated. Her horns were nearer 
translucent than any horns I ever saw; slim, and of good length; indeed 
quite long, very much like the yellow steer's. Her twin brother was 
perhaps 300 pounds heavier than she was. He was a light brindle; the 
heifer red and white pied. Another large steer of father's that had to be 
prematurely disposed of, on account of an incurable foot-evil, weighed, when 
slaughtered at the celebration of the opening of the Ohio canal at Chilli- 
cothe, in 1831, 2,272 pounds of net beef, after hanging sixteen hours. Had 
it not been for the foot-evil, this steer, without doubt in my mind, could 


minute in this description, because I have seen several treatise, or 
rather communications, on the comparative excellence of the different 
breeds of cattle imported into this country, and all of them dispar- 
aging, in a greater or less degree, this breed of cattle. This breed 
proved an admirable one for crossing with the common stock of the 
country, better perhaps, than any following importation.! In 1817 
Messrs. Saunders, Smith and Teagardon, of Kentucky, imported 
from England five bulls — three short-horns, and two long-horns — 
and eight or nine cows of the two breeds. The long-horns being 
the most sightly animals, took the fancy of the people at first, and 
some of those having good stock of former importations, well nigh 
ruined them for the shambles by introducing the long-horns among 
them. Their flesh was very dark and tough, without any admixture 

have been made the heaviest animal of the cow kind ever recorded in any 
country. He had the frame for it. He was a light red and white pied. 

tThe original colors of the Patton stock of cattle were all of a light order, 
no dark colors among them. The prevailing colors were light red, yellow, 
light red and white pied, and light red slightly- streaked with brindle. 
Among the thousands of that stock that I have seen, I never saw one all 
white animal, nor one in which the white predominated ; nor did I ever see a 
roan. When the colors were red and white on the same animal, they were 
clearly marked — no intermingling of colors. But in course of time, dee]) reds 
and dark brindles were not uncommon, and occasionally lin e backs and im- 
perfect roans, and other colors were noticeable. But all these later colors I 
regard as having been introduced through crossings with other stock. Dur- 
ing the Summer of 1816, and Spring of 1817, I was perfectly familiar with 
(having often seen, and assisted in driving them on two occasions) the finest 
and largest lot of cattle — one hundred head in number — that perhaps was 
ever collected together in the United States. They were all pure blooded 
Pattons, and I am morally certain there was not a dark colored steer in the 
lot, nor a white, nor a roan one. That stock was owned by my uncle, 
Felix Renick, who had purchased one hundred head of cattle in the Spring 
of L816 — part of Mr. GofF, and part of Mr. Hume, both of Kentucky, the two 
largest fine blooded cattle raisers at that time in the United States — at a cost 
of $75 per head. And after bringing them home, he took out twenty-five 
head of the youngest and least, and replaced them with twenty-five head of 
extra fine ones of his own raising, then he grazed and fed them the next 
Winter and sent them to Philadelphia the following Spring. They were es- 
timated to weigh over 1,300 pounds, net weight, at home, and doubtless would 
have weighed more than estimated, as all fat cattle were at that time underlaid. 
Twenty head of them were sold to Mr. White, a butcher in Philadelphia, 
for $100 per head, or about eleven dollars per hundred, net, who took out 


of fat, as a butcher's animal should have, and withal the cows were 
poor milkers. The short-horns proved a valuable acquisition to the 
then existing stock of the country, though the quality of their beef 
was perhaps no better than the Patton or Miller stock, nor were the 
cows better milkers, but their early maturity, and aptitude to fatten, 
were qualities peculiarly desirable at the time, had they been 
properly appreciated and improved upon by the breeders generally. 
But unfortunately, in Kentucky in particular, the long-horns got a 
pretty general dissemination before they were entirely discarded, 
and a practice of somewhat indiscriminate breeding followed, pro- 
ducing about as undesirable a stock for the shambles as could well 
be imagined. They were very large and very unsaleable, and nick- 
named by the butchers of the eastern cities, "red horses." There 
never was enough of the short-horned breed clear of admixture in 
the eastern markets for their shamble qualities to be clearly estab- 

one steer at random, as he said (he had nothing to guide him in his selection), 
and kept the steer two years longer, and for many years thereafter you could 
not have made any of the old butchers there believe there ever was a finer 
or larger steer in the United States. The steer's profile was taken by a 
skillful artist and lithographer, and extensive^ distributed. And Mr. 
White told me some years after, that he verily believed that every one of the 
other nineteen head would have made as large a steer as the one he kept — 
he could see no choice. 

I never saw so much uniformity in regard to size in any other breed of 
cattle. They were all, without exception, almost, very large, and would grow 
rapidly till they were six or seven years old; and herein lay their great fault: 
they could not be made maturely ripe for an eastern market until they 
would become too large and heavy to withstand the long drive without 
considerable risk, and upon their arrival be less saleable than smaller cattle. 

My father and uncle Felix Renick had, for a long time, much the largest 
stocks of thorougblood Patton cattle in Ohio; indeed for a considerable time 
they were almost the only raisers of the pure bloods in the State. In an 
early day Felix Renick gave, or sold at a nominal price, five or six yearling 
bulls, and about as many heifers, to William Renick, of Greenbrier county, 
Va. The latter retained to himself all the heifers and one of the bulls, but 
gave away, or loaned without charge, all the other bulls to persons living in 
Greenbrier and adjoining counties, his sole purpose being to improve the 
stock of cattle in that section of country. The result was a complete and 
most gratifying success, as the high appreciation in which the decendants 
of this stock were held by the large feeders on the south branch of the 
Potomac for forty years thereafter clearly proved. 


lished by the butchers there, though in the West it was known to be 
at least not inferior to any breed then existing.* 

But it was not until about 1832 to 1836 that a general interest for 
the improvement of the stock of cattle began to be manifested by 
the farmers and cattle men at large. Hitherto it had been confined 
chiefly to a few individuals in different localities in Kentucky, Ohio, 
and other western States, though more general in the former. But 
the beautiful display at the county fairs (then recently revived) and 
elsewhere, of the many beautiful animals of the English improved 
Durhams, imported by the different associations into Kentucky and 
Ohio about that period, combined with the almost fabulous prices 
which they would command, contributed in no small degree towards 
creating the general interest on the subject that followed, and which 
resulted, within a few years thereafter, in a great improvement in 
the quality of the stock throughout the whole West, greater, perhaps, 

*A few words in regard to the importation of English cattle in 1817. The 
male part of that importation consisted of two long-horn bulls (one a grey in 
color, the other a brindle) and three short-horns. One called "San-Martin" 
was a full red, and was used chiefly in Bourbon county, Ky. Another 
called " Tecumseh " was a red and white, rather an imperfect roan, and was 
used in Bourbon and Clarke counties. The remaining one called "Smith's 
Bull" was a light brindle, and was used chiefly in Fayette county, and was 
considered by some to be the best animal; but each of the other short-horns 
had their favorite admirers. But all the short-horns were at first neglected 
by breeders generally, till the long-horns were discarded. 

One of the most interesting sights I ever saw in the bovine line was one 
hundred head of half-blood long-horn and half Patton cattle in one pasture. 
They belonged to Kobert Cunningham, in the blue grass region, Ky. I can 
not remember the year, but think it was in 1823 or 1824. Mr. Cunningham 
had bought up all the best half-blooded long-horned cattle he could find. 
There were as yet but few full bloods (steers) in the country, but these cattle 
could scarcely be distinguished from the full bloods from their general 
appearance, horns in particular, showing in some measure that the origin of 
the Patton stock were the long-horns, because the Pattons bred back to the 
long-horns in a strong noticeable degree. The horns of these one hundred 
head of cattle were a wonderful sight, on account of their immense length 
and divergence from the head in every direction, and without any regularity 
or similarity; in the same animal one horn would run forward, the other 
back, one up, the other down, and some of them had to have the tips of 
their horns cut off, otherwise they could not have eaten the #rass, unless 
it was of <;reat length. 


than would otherwise have taken place within a quarter of a century. 
Nor were the people misled by appearances this time; for, after 
thirty years' trial, this breed, when well cared for, still maintains its 
English reputation of possessing, in a greater degree than any other 
stock, all the essential qualities, such as size, neatness of form, early 
maturity, aptitude to fatten, and the marbled admixture of fat with 
the lean in the beef, requisite to make both the raising and feeding 
more profitable, as well as furnishing to the consumer a superior 
quality of beef. But the present management of these cattle, and 
their crosses, called "grades," is nowise calculated to sustain the 
hitherto high character of their beef among consumers. Apparently 
both feeders and drovers, not willing to be behind hand with the 
railroads, nor any other fast thing in this fast age, make haste to 
realize and hurry oif their half- fatted stock to market at the early 
age of three years, thereby involving an absolute waste of "raw 
material;" whereas, if those same cattle were kept one year longer, 
and made ripe for the shambles, there would not only be a gain of 
one-third in weight, but they would produce a quality of beef not 
excelled in any country or clime.* 

The wonderful increase of late years, both in the production and 
consumption of beef cattle in the United States, the one obviously 
keeping pace with the rapid strides of the other, has developed in 

*It has been stated that I do not regard the roan as an original color of the 
short-horns. The roan was a common color among the Teaswater stock, 
from which the improved Durham or short-horn sprung, though not so per- 
fect and beautiful as after the improvement ; but the original roan color was 
produced by crossing the native white cattle of England with the Holland 
reds. In no other stock in England than the Teaswater, I believe, did the 
roan color frequently occur. It is asserted that the dam of Hubback was a 
roan cow, and was sired by Snowdon's bull (612). Now, I think there is 
some doubt about that matter. I rather believe that the pedigree of 
Hubback was a'trumped up affair, an after-thought altogether. I have never 
relied upon some of the old English pedigrees explicitly, and I think 
Hubback's is very doubtful. The Rev. Mr. Berry, of England (who was con- 
temporary with the earliest improved breeders, and who was himself a good 
judge of cattle, as well as an enterprising improver of stock, and who, I 
think, is good authority), says that the owner of Hubback was a very poor 


part the capabilities of the vast western prairies, providentially pro- 
vided beforehand, to meet the wants of a great nation, increasing in 
population and advancing in wealth and power with a rapidity wholly 
unprecedented in history. 

The original or common cattle of the West were introduced into 
the country from various quarters, the earlier immigrants from 
Pennsylvania, Virginia, and other States, bringing a greater or less 
number of cows with them, and the Indians furnished a part. Of 
course, they were a heterogeneous collection ; yet in the process of 
time, in each considerable district of country of similar formation 
and resources, where there was no effort made at improvement, the 
stock assimilated or acquired characteristic qualities peculiar to itself, 
and so dissimilar from other sections as to enable the experienced 
cattle dealer to readily determine, by the general appearance of the 
stock, the region of country in which the cattle were raised. In the 
more hilly and timbered localities the cattle were smaller, of 
compact build, hardy, healthy, and easily fatted; whereas, in the 
more open portions of the country, where the feed was abundant, the 
stock became larger, looser made, coarser, more subject to disease, 

man, the possessor of one cow only, and she was pastured on the common. 
And not long after this cow had a calf (afterwards called Hubback) the man 
moved away where his cow got better feed, and she soon became so fat that 
she never bred any more; and that Colling accidentally hearing of this cir- 
cumstance, hunted up the young bull, Hubback, found him still on the com- 
mon, and bought him at a low price. He (Hubback) was in color a deep 
yellow, with little or no white about him, and like his dam, he soon got too 
fat, in spite of all Colling could do, to breed. Hubback was exactly the 
article Colling wanted, and had been hunting for for years. Colling had 
tried many other crosses before. The Teaswater were too high off the 
ground, did not mature early enough, too hard to fatten, etc. Hubback 
was the very reverse of all these qualities, but Colling did not get many 
calves of Hubback. It is not likely that Colling knew or cared what the 
pedigree of Hubback was, or put himself to any trouble to find out; nor is 
it at all likely that the owner of the dam of Hubback knew anything about 
the pedigree of his cow or her calves, because she ran on the common, in 
common with other stock, Summer and Winter. Berry does not give the 
color of the cow. This statement I saw substantially corroborated by 
another writer more than thirty years ago. 


and harder to fatten; but the general effort made of late years to 
improve the stock by the introduction of improved breeds has 
rendered these local characteristics less distinguishable than formerly. 
The manner of raising or breeding of cattle has undergone 
considerable change of late years. Formerly, when the price of land 
was very low, and the range extensive, it was the general custom of 
farmers and cattle men to keep more cows than were actually neces- 
sary to supply the wants of the family; indeed, many of them kept 
large herds of cows for the sole purpose of raising cattle. But that 
business has now, at least so far as Ohio and Kentucky are concerned, 
almost entirely ceased, though it is still carried on to a limited 
extent further west and south, more particularly in Texas, where a 
few years ago many individuals could count their herds by the 
thousand. Yet, even in Ohio and Kentucky, the number of cows 
has not decreased, but, on the contrary, doubtless has largely 
increased home consumption, the extensive cheese manufactories and 
large export of butter of late years have rendered a largely increased 
number of cows necessary. The calves of these cows are, to a con- 
siderable extent, bought up by dealers in the Fall, who, perhaps, 
keep them a year, and then they pass into other hands, who, in turn, 
keep them another year, when the stock in large numbers passes into 
the hands of the feeders. This cannot be said to be the universal 
custom, but its practice is sufficiently prevalent to be designated as 
general. A very limited proportion of this stock is housed or 
sheltered during the winter, at least south of forty-one degrees of 
north latitude, unless it be the calves the first winter to some extent; 
nor is it the custom to house any cattle even while preparing for 
market. They are generally fed in open lots, though positions 
sheltered from wind and storms by timber or other natural obstruc- 
tions are taken advantage of.* 

^Something about breeding: In February, 1830, I bought of Mr. John 
Hetchcraft, of Kentucky, a heifer from his celebrated milch cow. This cow 
was of the Tecumseh breed, of the importation of 1817, and it was asserted, 


In communicating his experience with Texas cattle, Mr. Renick 
writes as follows: 

" In the winter of 1853-4, I had purchased for use about 1,200 
head of cattle in the northern part of Texas, which section of 
country had been to a considerable extent settled by immigrants 
from Illinois and Missouri, and who had brought their stock with 
them; and this stock had not yet been sufficiently intermixed with 
the Spanish or Opelousas cattle further south to materially deterio- 
rate their original qualities; consequently they were a much better 
and larger stock than I expected to see, though they had in some 
measure acquired the wild nature of the more southern stock. 
The cattle were brought to Illinois in the Spring and Summer of 
1854 — the first drove of cattle that ever came North from Texas. This 
enterprise created quite an excitement in the northern part of 
Texas, and all my correspondents there manifested a strong desire 

and abundantly proven, that she would give forty-four quarts per day, of 
rich milk, for several months during the year. At the time, I had an extra 
poor set of milkers, and was determined to raise both the quality and 
the quantity, if possible, hence my purchase of that heifer at a high price. 
But shortly after getting my Hetchcraft heifer home, I met with a small 
book, by a French author, who professed that by following certain rules that 
he had laid down he could produce any given characteristic quality of any 
kind of animal, and could breed male or female at his pleasure ; but unfortu- 
nately, I lost the book before fully acquainting myself with its precepts ; but 
I had learned enough to know that my purchase of Hetchcraft would not 
probably avail me anything — and so it proved. She was but an ordinary 
milker; and when the sale of English imported stock took place, in 1836, I 
was determined to have a certain one of the calves to try the Frenchman's 
theory, to raise the milking qualities of my stock, for I then had some of the 
worst milkers I ever saw. But at the time of purchase I was also very 
desirous of having heifer calves to get into the lead as soon as possible. 
And here was the difficulty ; if I bought that certain bull — if the French- 
man's theory was correct — I might expect to raise the milking qualities, but 
would pretty surely have bull calves, for a time, at least, instead of heifers; 
and so it proved, for in the first year I got from that bull twenty-one calves, 
but seventeen of them were bulls— but one heifer from my best stock ; and 
at my sale of stock and other things, in 1851, I was certain I had the best 
stock of milkers in this county I had several superior milkers, and no bad 
ones. I gave $630 for my bull calf (John Bull by name), eleven months old, 
and the same night T got him home, he got with a heifer that I had been 


to have this new trade continued and extended, freely offering their 
best efforts to encourage it, as they believed it would result advan- 
tageously to all concerned, and promising, if successful, to send 
North for a better breed of cattle, as they said, and with truth, that 
they could raise cattle and deliver them in Illinois with satisfactory 
profits to themselves, for less, by one-half, than they could be raised 
for in that State. In anticipation of this trade being continued 
the following season, quite a large number of cattle were brought 
up from points further south, and, as was expected, the trade 
opened lively; but an unforseen difficulty exploded the whole 
business within the next two years. It was found that the 
southern or Spanish cattle were subject to an epidemic or contageous 
disease, somewhat resembling the yellow fever in the human race, 
and so contageous did it prove that all along the track those cattle 
were driven the farmers lost large numbers of their cattle from that 
disease, many loosing almost their entire stock within a few days. 
So serious was the loss occasioned by each drove of Texas cattle 
passing through, that the inhabitants of southwestern Missouri held 

obliged partly to raise by hand, as her mother and grand-dam both were 
such miserable poor milkers, that they could not raise their calves without 
assistance, and the heifer was still running about the yard and orchard. She 
was then about fifteen or sixteen months old, and her calf by John Bull was 
a heifer, and to my great delight proved to be a splendid milker ; and you 
may guess I was fast getting to be a firm believer in the Frenchman's theory. 
It was simply this: If milking qualities are desired, you must find it in the 
female, and then cross sexes, that any quality possessed in either sex will 
but rarely be transmitted to their descendants of the same gender. As an ex- 
ample — if you have a good or superior milch cow, and breed her promiscu- 
ously, the chances are exceedingly faint that you will have more than an 
ordinary milker in the female descendant ; but if your cow has a bull calf, 
then preserve him to breed from, and your chances are infinitely superior 
that his female descendants will be from good to very good milkers, and so 
with any other quality. But other qualities may originate with the male, 
but the sexes must be crossed to transmit them with any kind of certainty, 
and the longer these crosses are continued the more surely you will succeed. 
After 1839 I would not have bred from any bull, however fine, unless I knew 
his dam to have been a good milker. I imported a superior milch cow 
myself, to cross and keep up the milking qualities of my stock. 


conventions in divers places, and resolved that no more Texas cattle 
should pass through the country, and, by order of these conventions, 
armed bands or patrols were appointed whose duty it was to^urn 
back all Texas droves that might attempt to pass, which they did 
effectually. Thus ended what at one time seemed a promising trade. 
From the short trial, however, it became evident that, from the in- 
feriority of the Texas stock as beef cattle, the trade would not have 
resulted as satisfactorily as was anticipated; the cattle were very 
light " weighters" for their size of frame, with but little room for im- 
provement, and so wild as to be almost unmanageable. For oxen 
for the Santa Fe trade, or long drives over flinty roads, their hard- 
ness of hoof, their agility and endurance, render them unrivalled; 
and though they never lose entirely their wild nature, yet, when 
judiciously trained, they become quite tractable." 


[We give place to the following intelligent and interesting article, the more 
freely that we know a large number of our readers are either directly or in- 
directly interested with the subject which it so ably discusses. Should any 
part of it, however, call for fair refutation, we shall hold ourselves ready to 
give public audience to any accredited article on the other side. — Ed. A. C] 

Mount Oval, near Circleville, 0., Dec. 25, 1848. 

Mr. A. M'Makin, American Courier, Philadelphia. — Dear Sir: 
The following article appeared in your paper of the 16th inst., under 
the head of "Destroying a Conspiracy:" "An effort is about to be 
made by the victualcrs, with the aid of the public, to destroy a com- 
bination of drovers and middlemen, or forestallers, who conspire to 
raise the price of butcher's meat to an unfair and oppressive height. 
They may count on our aid to effect this public good. 1 ' 

It is evident, from your manifest willingness to participate in the 
correction of the alleged abuse referred to in the above article, that 
you have taken as Gospel truth all you have heard in relation 


thereto, on one side of the subject. Now, would it not be as well 
(before a final decision) to hear what may be said upon the other 
side, that you may be the better enabled to judge more correctly for 
yourself, whether or not the alleged abuse really does exist? — for it 
is not at all likely that either you or a large majority of the Phila- 
delphia public are practically acquainted with the subject under 
consideration, and therefore must form your opinion from arguments 
advanced from each and both sides of the question. I say that the 
alleged "conspiracy" does not exist, and if you will allow me a 
brief space in your widely circulated paper for my remarks, I 
will endeavor to prove to you, and through you, to the Philadelphia 
public, that it cannot, to any considerable extent, take place, and 
that the drovers have been wrongfully accused. Although I am 
well aware of the strong natural influence with which I will have to 
contend (I mean the pocket interest), yet I think the large body of 
your community — actuated by a spirit of reciprocity, and the still 
more noble sentiment of "do as you would be done by," — will, when 
their minds are disabused from any imposition being practised upon 
them, sustain the old adage, "live and let live," at all events, I trust 
you and they will give my remarks an impartial consideration. I 
will be brief as possible, and confine myself entirely to the western 
branch of the business — my long experience enabling me to speak 
with confidence, so far as it is concerned, for I myself have been 
engaged for more than twenty-five years, in occasionally furnishing 
the butchers of the Eastern cities with beef cattle, and also for the 
whole of that period been engaged in the business of raising, grazing, 
and feeding cattle for the supply of those markets — and for the 
better understanding of the whole matter, I will commence with the 
beginning of the business of furnishing beef (which, I take it for 
granted, is the principal article complained of) for your market, and 
the probable cost of production. 

In the first place, cattle are bred and raised until they are four 
years old, generally for, say $24 per head, or six dollars per head per 


annum, which, I think, you will say is reasonable enough, though 
the best of the improved breed will command that price, and even 
more, when three years old. Then the animal must be put to better 
keeping, and will consume all the grass that will grow on two acres of 
the best land in an ordinary season; put that down at $6, and you 
cannot call that charge extravagant. Then in five months more he 
will consume at least seventy-five bushels of corn, or one-half bushel 
per day ; put that down at $15, or twenty cents per bushel ; can you 
complain of that charge? Total so far, $45, and the animal will 
weigh about 900 pounds. So much for the cost of production in 
Ohio. But yet I have allowed nothing for interest of capital, nor for 
loss of cattle by murrain, which is at least three or four per cent, 
per annum, but that must come off the farmer. 

Now we will see wherein the western drover is at fault. He buys 
the cattle at the above rates — that is, the best prime cattle, that will 
weigh 900 pounds, for $45, or $5 per hundred pounds, and then he 
is at an outlay for driving of $11 to Philadelphia, or $13 to New 
York, provided the cattle are driven on grain, and two-thirds that 
price if driven on early grass. This includes all expenses except the 
interest of money, which will add one dollar more, making the whole 
cost to the drover $57 to Philadelphia, and $59 to New York, and 
the cattle will weigh, on an average, from 750 to 775 pounds, at 
Philadelphia, and near a quarter less at New York. 

Now, admit the cattle to carry to market, on an average, the 
highest weight here named, which they will not do, and allow the 
drover to sell them at the highest prices that the Philadelphia 
butchers have ever paid for the last ten years, except perhaps for a 
single market day or two, at most, and even then where is the 
margin for the drover's extravagant profit? There is none. The 
fact is, that for many years it has seldom happened that your 
butchers have been willing to pay a price that would remunerate the 
western drover for superior cattle., and the consequence has been that 
seven-eights of the best Ohio and Kentucky cattle have passed your 


doors, to reach a better and a more remunerating market. I do not 
say that the people of Pennsylvania cannot produce good beef at a 
less cost than Ohio and Kentucky, but I do not see how they can do 
it, although they are measurably clear of the great cost of driving, 
and also the great loss of weight, yet they pay more for their store 
cattle, and the food wherewith the cattle are made fat is worth more 
than double the estimated cost of ours. So much for the actual cost 
of good beef delivered at market. 

Now for the "conspiracy," or combination. How r is that possible, 
with a consumption among the Eastern cities, large and small, of 
more than 200,000 cattle annually, and with 15,000 or 20,000 head 
always ready for market, scattered ovjer a vast extent of territory, 
and at all times more or less of them starting to market, without the 
knowledge of other parties? Would not the conspirators have to 
buy up all the cattle within reach of the market? And could they 
do that? Would there not, in spite of them, be a sufficient number 
untouched by the drovers, ready and waiting to step in the moment 
they would get the price up, to take advantage of the high market? 
Remember that fat cattle, after being driven to market, are a perish- 
able article — they cannot be held out of market like a barrel of pork 
or flour, they must be sold on arrival, or very soon thereafter, be 
they few or many; the expense of keeping is too great, and they lose 
in weight too fast after the drive, to hold any length of time. 

Now, sir, if this is all true, will you not be ready to conclude that 
the butchers are mistaken? I know they are; but still I do not say 
that they do not believe what they assert, for a large majority of 
them are perhaps, but little, if any better acquainted with the actual 
cost of production, than other citizens generally of Philadelphia. 
They, and we all know that it often happens that the supply of beef 
cattle at hand is not equal to the demand ; in that case, of course, the 
drover will put up the price if he can, just as any other dealer in any 
other article would, under similar circumstances; but then again it 
more frequently happens that the supply is greater than the demand ; 


then the drover in his turn must submit to take the best price he 
can get. I admit that the monopolizing of the market for a short 
period has often been attempted, but which has nearly as often 
resulted in a failure. But there is no sane man acquainted with the 
business that would not at once denounce anything like a permanent 
monopoly as literally impracticable; the competition is too great. 
You might as well tell me of a "conspiracy" of the merchants of 
Market street, to raise the price of their goods to their Western 
customers, or a combination of the shoemakers of Lynn, for the 
purpose of raising the price of boots and shoes, either of which 
perhaps would be as easily effected as the "conspiracy" complained 
of. There is no branch of business with which I am acquainted 
that is so precarious, or that is not in the aggregate more profitable, 
than that of driving cattle from the West to the Eastern markets. 

In the foregoing remarks in relation to the cost of the production 
of beef for your markets, I allude only to the best article. Inferior 
beef can be, and is, produced at a considerable less cost. But are 
you willing to be put off with the inferior article? I think not; but 
I assure you that the best beef cannot be afforded to you (without a 
change of times) at a less price than you have obtained it for the 
past two years, without a sacrifice on the part of the producer, 
drover, or butcher of their just and moderate profits; and I am yet 
to be made to believe that the people of Philadelphia are unwilling to 
pay such a price for their beef as will allow all concerned a fair and 
moderate profit. They must bear in mind that good beef cannot be 
produced, to any extent, on low-priced, or inferior land. It requires 
the best of land to produce it. For that reason the production is 
principally confined to comparatively small and detached portions of 
the United States. All the best beef furnished from Ohio and 
Kentucky is produced on land that will command from $30 to $50 
per acre for other purposes than the making of beef. 

Compare the prices of the different articles of food in the United 
States, relatively, with those of other countries, and you will find the 


disparity greater in the article of beef than that of most any other 
thing v and it is in your favor. And again I call upon your people to 
take into consideration the fact, that good beef cattle cannot be 
reared at former prices — the prices of 1824-25. At that time, we of 
the West were almost without resources ; we were obliged to take the 
offered cash price for any article we had to dispose of, whether remu- 
nerative or not — there was no alternative. We were compelled to 
have some money wherewith to procure the necessaries of life, pay 
taxes, etc., and nothing but cattle and hogs would at all times com- 
mand the cash. I myself have seen wheat offered at twenty-five 
cents per bushel, and the cash refused even at that low price. But 
thanks to the shade of Clinton, the opening of the New York and 
Ohio canals put a new face on our affairs, and the completion of each 
successive important canal and railroad has added to our resources 
and diversified our pursuits, the result of which (taken in connection 
with the late foreign demand) has been an advance in price of from 
fifty to one hundred per cent, in most articles of produce, and a 
consequent rise, though a less porportionate one, in the article of beef. 
With these remarks I will leave the matter to your consideration. 

w. R. 




Died. — At his residence, on Paint Hill, in the vicinity of Chillieothe, on 
Tuesday, the 15th inst., Mr. George Renick, aged eighty-seven years 
and seven days. 

In the death of the venerable George Renick, Ohio loses one more 
of her very few remaining pioneers of his class. Doubtless there 
are yet still living quite a number of persons who were brought 
hither in their minority by their parents or guardians prior to Mr. 
Renick's first location; but few indeed must be the number yet 
remaining, who, like him, at their own discretion and as self reliant 
men, traversed the wilds of Ohio anterior to Mr. Renick. 

Mr. Renick w T as born in Hardin county, Virginia, on the 7th day of 
September, 1776. He was brought up on a farm, though a consid- 
erable portion of the years of his minority were spent in a store in 
Moorefield, Va. He was twice married ; the first time in September, 
1802, to Miss Dorothy Harness, of his native county, by whom he 
had ten children, seven of whom survive him, she dying in Decem- 
ber, 1820. He was again married in March, 1825, to Mrs. Sarah 
Boggs, who survives him, though only a few months his junior in 
years, herself a pioneer of 1798, whose maiden name was Denny, a 
sister of the late General James Denny. 

Mr. Renick first visited Ohio in 1797, at Marietta, in company 
with Mr. Jonathan Renick, who afterward settled on Darby Creek, 
Pickaway county, for the purpose of competing for the contract for 
the surveying of the Government lands lying on and east of the 
Scioto river (they both being practical surveyors), but from some 
misunderstanding they failed in their purpose (Mr. Thomas Worth- 
ington, afterward Governor of Ohio, being the successful competitor), 
and after attending, even then, at Marietta, a so-called birth-night 
ball (though Washington was still living) they returned to Virginia. 


A few months later Mr. Renick again visited Ohio, this time by way 
of Wheeling and Zane's newly cut trace, when there was but four 
cabins on the way between Ohio Wheeling Creek and Chillicothe; 
and at Lancaster prairie he saw for the first time in Ohio the so- 
called, but misnamed, Kentucky blue grass, growing in rank luxuri- 
ance. After prospecting about Chillicothe for a short season, he, by 
special invitation, started to accompany General Massie on a survey- 
ing tour among the Virginia military lands west of the river, but 
sickness overtaking him, he was obliged to return to Chillicothe. 
There being no white physician in the place, he would not suffer the 
Indian doctor to approach him, but soon becoming delirious the 
Indian was called in, under whose treatment he soon recovered. 
When becoming convalescent, and taking exercise to regain strength, 
he witnessed the nailing on of the first shingle that ever graced a roof 
in the now city of Chillicothe, all the former buildings being only 
cabins. After fully recovering his health he proceeded on his way 
through what was for many years after called the wilderness, to 
Kentucky, where he spent the Winter, returning the following Spring 
to Virginia, through Ohio. Although Mr. Renick did not finally 
locate in Ohio till the Fall of 1802, yet, in this interim, he was back 
and forth, spending a considerable part of his time after 1800 in 
Ohio. In the Fall of 1802 he was married and immediately removed 
to Chillicothe, opening a store of the largest and best assortment of 
goods hitherto offered in the place. 

Mr. Renick early perceiving, as he thought, from the large bodies 
of rich bottom land lying on the river, that corn would be the staple 
product of the country, and the consequent necessity of a market 
for it — acting under this conviction — he urged some of his friends 
who had preceded him, and who were already raising considerable 
corn, to feed it to cattle; but the great distance from market deterred 
them, they believing that fat cattle could not be taken so great a 
distance in a fit condition for beef, and that the undertaking would, 
in all probability, result in a failure. He thought otherwise, and 


resolved to try the experiment himself as soon as he could prepare 
for it. Accordingly, in the Winter of 1804-5 he fed a lot of 
cattle, sending them to Baltimore the following Spring, and marketed 
them himself. The result was highly satisfactory, and his cherished 
hopes fully realized. Thus was another avenue of trade practically 
opened that for half a century contributed largely to the wealth of 
the Scioto Valley. 

In 1808, Mr. Renick having accumulated a large landed property, 
retired from the business of merchandising and gave his whole 
attention to farming, improving his lands, already having a considera- 
ble stock of blooded horses, cattle and hogs. 

Throughout Mr. Renick's long life he never enjoyed robust 
health — indeed so much had his health become impaired that in the 
Spring of 1816, by the advice of his physician and friend, Dr. Scott, 
he removed to Woodford county, Kentucky, to a farm previously 
purchased for that purpose, selling off the greater part of his live 
stock, including all his extensive stock of fine blooded horses, and 
his fine stock of China hogs, which he had himself introduced into 
the country some years before, retaining a select few of his favorite 
cattle only. 

His health receiving no benefit from the change, he returned to 
Ohio in the Fall of the same year. Thenceforth Mr. Renick's special 
attention, so far as live stock was concerned, was given to cattle almost 
exclusive^, having commenced in that branch as early as 1804, by 
the purchase of a portion of the English blooded cattle brought to 
this country by Mr. John Patton, then lately deceased, from which 
stock Mr. Renick, by judicious breeding, raised some of the most 
gigantic sized animals of their kind ever produced in the United 
States, or that we have any record of in the world. 

Mr. Renick early and earnestly interested himself in the improve- 
ment of the live stock of the country, sparing neither time, trouble 
nor expense, to further his favorite purpose; indeed his name for 
fifty years was identified with every improvement or effort made to 


improve the stock (cattle in particular) of the Scioto Valley, always 
taking an active and leading part; and doubtless to him more than 
to any other one man, is due the credit of the present greatly 
improved stock of cattle of the country. 

Mr. Renick persistently eschewed a political life; the only office 
or nomination he could ever be induced to accept was that of Presi- 
dential Elector in favor of his early personal friend, Henry Clay. 

Mr. Renick was a man highly conscientious, moral, benevolent, 
extremely modest and unassuming, of unblemished honor and integ- 
rity; and during his last sickness, was received as a communicant in 
the Old School Presbyterian Church. 

Thus has passed from earth a long, highly honorable, and useful 
life, whose single term witnesseaa change of scene in Ohio and the 
West wonderful to contemplate. — Scioto Gazette, September, 1863. 

[For the Cincinnati Gazette.] 


If one hundred and three millions of currency was not an over 
supply in 1835 — and I think no business man of that day will say it 
was — what ought to be a proportionate amount noAv, with two and a 
half times greater population, with an increase probably from seven 
to ten fold in wealth and resources, and with a still greater ratio of 
increase in our business transactions? 

If we could maintain a circulation of one hundred and three 
millions on a specie basis in 1835, when the sight of a gold piece was 
almost enough to cure sore eyes, why should we doubt our ability to 
maintain a proportionate amount now, when we have been digging 
fresh gold out of the earth, upon our own territory, for sixteen years, 
to the amount of from seventy-five to one hundred millions of dollars 
per annum? 



If the supply of currency is of too limited a character, will not 
credits take its place, in the ratio of five dollars or more of credit for 
every one of currency, accompanied with high rates of interest? 

Of those who hold that the National Bank circulation already 
authorized — three hundred millions — will afford a sufficient supply of 
currency, I would ask, that unless they favor an extended system of 
credits, by what magical means they expect to make one dollar in 
currency now perform the functions of two, or more, probably three, 
thirty years ago? 

Will you please give the foregoing questions a place in your valua- 
ble paper? They may elicit some comments that will prove instruct- 
ive to those, and they are many, who, like myself, do not believe 
that high prices will necessarily be maintained as long as we have a 
redundant currency, but rather believe that supply and demand are 
the controlling elements that govern prices ( instance, the present 
price of hay, which is now selling for a lower gold price than it has 
done for twenty years before in Cincinnati), and that eventually, 
when the people become fully accustomed to an all-sufficient supply, 
as they now partially are, that there will be more cash payments, 
and less and shorter credits, thereby greatly lessening the peril of 
disastrous revulsions, and in some measure keeping within bounds 
the extortionate rates of interest that have so enriched the bankers 
and brokers and depleted the pockets of the artisan and tradesman 
for more than twenty years before the war. w. R. 




[For the Cincinnati Gazette.] 


Near the close of last month there appeared in the Gazette an 
article on the subject of the relative enterprise and increase of pop- 
ulation of the North and South, etc., editorial I presume, as there 
was no credit given, to the whole of which I cannot fully subscribe, 
at least without some modification, and I trust that you will allow T 
me a small space in your paper that I may give my reasons for non- 
concurrence. The sentiments to which I take special exception are 
expressed in the following words: "The value of the Southern 
lands, being so much more productive than the very best lands of 
the North," etc. And again further on, you say: "No doubt but 
real estate will greatly depreciate in the North for four or five 
years," etc. Now the former passage, from a casual reading, may 
be construed as implying that the Southern lands are so much richer, 
more fertile than the best lands of the North, but which was 
doubtless not your meaning, for the facts would not bear you out in 
that assumption. Had you said that the value of the products of 
the Southern lands, per acre, were so much greater than those of the 
North, you would have been better understood, but even that 
requires some qualification, in my opinion. You did not even inti- 
mate that, in order to make the Southern lands thus more product- 
ive, it required large additional outlays per acre. To have done this 
would have given the reader a better idea to have drawn his own 
conclusions as to the relative net profits between Northern and 
Southern lands. In no other way can a comparison of the value of 
lands be made. Their value cannot be judged with accuracy by the 
gross production ; and therein, in part, consists the error so preva- 


lent in the North, that the Southern lands are generally more 
valuable. If the raising of cotton had been the exceeding lucrative 
business that many in the North believed it to be, why did the South- 
ern papers, some ten or a dozen years ago, so earnestly appeal to the 
planters to limit its production, professing that it was then a non- 
paying business? Or, why have the sugar planters so often peti- 
tioned Congress for protection from the foreign article of one or two 
cents per pound. 

There are two things that have greatly assisted in leading the 
Northern people into the common error as to the great profi'ts arising 
from the culture of cotton. One is, the amount produced per acre, 
generally, is overrated. From all I have been able to learn, from 
experienced cotton raisers — and I have made many inquiries, from 
time to time — the production of North and South Carolina does not 
exceed one-half bale to the acre, exclusive of Sea Island cotton. 
One intelligent South Carolina planter, on a large scale, who had 
kept an accurate account of his business, told me his crop of cotton, on 
an average for sixteen years, was only 97 pounds of cleaned cotton to 
the acre ; though, he said, a few very short crop years during that time 
reduced the average somewhat for the whole term, but that his 
general average was not greatly more; and during the same time his 
corn averaged something less than fifteen bushels to the acre, but he 
cultivated old lands; and all my information on the subject leads me 
to believe that the annual average cotton crop of the whole South, 
east of the Mississippi river, and exclusive of the immediate valley 
of that river, does not reach three-fourths of a bale to the acre — 
probably not more than 250 to 275 pounds. In the North, one ton 
of cleaned broom corn to three acres, on good bottom lands, is con- 
sidered an average crop; and some years ago, when prices of most 
things were down to a low point, even then, if the raiser of broom 
corn did not get over $90 per ton he thought his profits rather slim. 
This would be equivalent to $30 per acre, which is a greater gross 
profit per acre, if my estimates are true, than the South has obtained 


from her aforesaid cotton lands on an average for ten years preced- 
ing the war, though it cost more work to cultivate and prepare for 
market one acre of cotton than an acre of broom corn. 1 will now 
endeavor to show wherein arises the other error in regard to its 
highly profitable culture. It has been from slave labor as it existed 
and was managed. It is hard to compute the actual cost when done 
by slave labor, in the ordinary way, when the common planters own 
both land and laborers, and living in the homely style they generally 
do; mostly clothing and feeding themselves and families, as well as 
their slaves, within themselves, their cash outlays are so small, that 
let the price of cotton be never so low, still the proceeds of sales are 
more than enough to cover all demands, and they only know that 
they have less money at the year's end than usual to lay up or to 
buy more negroes or land. Had the planters had to pay the same 
wages to their laborers, and board them in the same way that the 
Northern farmers have done for the past ten years before the war, 
their profits, or rather incomes, would have been represented by 
quite different figures, and not always on the right side of the bal- 
ance sheet, and minus the increase of negroes besides. 

In the foregoing remarks I make no allusion to the wealthy 
nabobs, who, for the sole purpose to constitute themselves grandees, 
with a high sounding hereditary title to designate their rank, origin- 
ated this bloody civil war, and who manage to clothe and feed their 
numerous families of negroes for a sum so astonishingly small per 
head, that they are enabled to live in princely style. 

If slavery is totally abolished — which I earnestly hope and trust 
it will be — the South never again can monopolize the culture of 
cotton as heretofore, because it cannot be raised by hired labor, if 
justice is done to the laborer, low enough to prevent the strong 
competition of other countries that are fast becoming skilled in its 
successful culture; and suitable lands for its production throughout 
the world are by no means limited, as many suppose, but, on the 
contrary, there is probably no other principal crop so well supplied 


in that respect for all time as cotton — I mean in comparison to 
demand. Was only the one-twentieth acre of the land susceptible 
of its production now employed in its culture, there would be an 
overwhelming supply. Cotton is no longer king. Dethroned by his 
own ministers, the order to fire on Fort Sumpter sounded the death 
knell to his boastful power. 

The Hon. Dixon H. Lewis, one of the most enlightened, enterpris- 
ing and practical agriculturalists the South ever produced, and who, 
while in Congress, made it a point to attend very many of the 
meetings of the New York Agricultural Club, taking a leading part 
in their discussions, said he would rather grow corn at twenty-five 
cents per bushel than cotton at seven cents per pound, although 
corn was raised to a disadvantage, inasmuch as it only aiforded full 
employment to his slaves for a comparatively short portion of the 
year. This disadvantage would be overcome by monthly hired labor. 
But the fact that Mr. Lewis lived in Mississippi, in the true cotton 
region, and too far South for a full or certain crop of corn, should 
not be overlooked. 

Cotton is raised to a great disadvantage in a small way, requiring, 
as it does, considerable outlays in addition to the mere work per- 
formed in its culture, and in the picking season extra help is 
required, which the small farmer cannot always conveniently 
command, unless being near a town or village, or where labor is 
plenty. And upon the whole I think it questionable whether 
one-fourth of our farmers would engage in the business, even if it 
could be done at their own doors, and even if they were sure their 
land would yield them 50 or even 100 per cent, more profit to the 
acre. The time, trouble, and the large increased outlays would 
deter them. Most of our farmers would rather cultivate two acres 
of corn than one acre of cotton, because it would require less time, 
trouble and expense, and leave them as much or more net profit in 
the'aggregate, rent of land inclusive. In the foregoing I refer 
only to prices as existed for a term of years before the war, and to 


cultivation in all respects similar, as to pay of laborers and their 
board, or as corn was, and is grown in the North by the common 
farmer. I make no reference to what might be done in the way of 
culture of cotton on a large scale on the rich alluvial soils of the 
Mississippi river and its tributaries. 

I am neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but if I do 
indulge a little in a prophet's avocation, I can offer as an excuse that 
you set the example. 

But before there in any occasion of prophesying, we must first 
assume that confiscations to any considerable extent are to be made ; 
otherwise I do not see that there will be, to any very great extent, a 
change in proprietorship of land at least. For myself, I have no 
idea that the one-tenth of a tithe of the lands will be confiscated. 
My opinion is, that between the exceeding leniency of our President 
and the extreme facility that a Southern man can swear, and prove, 
too, that he has always been a loyal man, though he may have served 
in the rebel army ever since the war began, confiscations will be 
rare indeed. And if the present holders should not be dispossessed, 
and the predicted avalanch of emigration should press down on 
them, they will begin to appreciate, what they never knew before, 
the great value of their lands (in Yankee estimation), and some of 
them at least will be ready to conclude that they hold in their pos- 
session a great prize, second only to "striking ile," if they ever 
heard of that expression down in Dixie, which I think doubtful. 
Seriously, I trust, on the return of our soldiers, the minds of our 
people will be disabused relative to the great superiority of the 
Southern lands, in general, over those of the North, either in point 
of richess of soil or productiveness, an opinion quite too generally 
entertained. But if the great and generally predicted opening does 
occur, then I will say that the sugar lands of Louisiana, and the rich 
cotton lands on the Missisisppi and its tributaries, will offer a rich 
prize to the capitalist and speculator, and will be sought after with 
avidity. A portion of Middle Tennessee and extreme North Ala- 


bama will be very attractive to all. And perhaps the interior of 
Georgia, and on the water courses of Alabama, and about Columbia, 
South Carolina, may be inviting to many. And to the industrious 
and enterprising mechanic and artisan, the most part of the w T hole 
country will offer an unusual remunerative return for his labor and 
skill. But that the well-to-do farmers, of the Northwest at least, 
will rush to sell out to remove South, I do not believe. But, on the 
contrary, the great majority of our Northern farmers, a million or 
more in number, having made money the past year or two as they 
never made before, and if the same prosperity attends them for a 
year or two longer, each and all of these, figuratively speaking, will 
be ready to become home buyers, not sellers, of land to an extent 
that their less fortunate neighbors, or those wishing to go South 
cannot readily over supply. 

But however strong the temptation to emigrate South may prove, 
I think it underestimating the unparalleled progress that the North 
is now making, both in regard to wealth and accumulation of 
resources, as well as her great increase of population, to suppose 
that any or all inducements, real or imaginary, that may be offered 
in the South, can materially affect, much less "greatly depreciate" 
real estate in the Northwest at least. In my opinion if real estate 
is at all depreciated, it will be by financial embarrassment, and not 
by emigration. 

Although my remarks are already extended much beyond what I 
intended, yet allow me to say that I cannot fully agree with you in 
the opinion that the Southern climate is so much preferable to our 
own. That it is more genial no one will dispute, but whether from 
that fact it is the better calculated to promote the enjoyment of the 
comforts and pleasure of life, is, to my mind, a doubtful question. 
The human system requires a change of temperature to invigorate 
and give it tone. An equable and warm climate enervates, inducing 
lassitiude — an indisposition to exertion — thereby unfitting the system 


to relish, if not rendering irksome, what would otherwise be a 

Energy and industry may be fairly classed among the charac- 
teristics of the higher latitude, langour and indolence among those 
of the lower. Therefore, I do not believe that the incubus that has 
hung over the South, so retarding her progress, as your figures 
clearly show, should be wholly ascribed to slavery. I think a part, 
at least, a small, comparative part, perhaps, should be attributed to 

In the future, when slavery and slavery commotions shall have 
mostly passed from the memory of man, the question may be asked : 
Why does not the Sunny South keep pace in improvements with the 
ungenial North? The answer will probably be : Alas! Inertia, that 
fatal barrier to progress, that to-day is the great assistant in holding 
in check the enterprise, and the consequent onward advance to 
wealth and power of all the Southern nations of the earth, is deeply 
seated there. w. R. 

Circleville, Ohio, Jan. 12, 1866. 



[For the Farmer's Chronicle.] 


At the first meeting of the Franklin County Agricultural Club, 
Mr. Klippart asked, what is blue grass? A pertinent question, 
certainly, and one well worthy discussion, even if nothing more be 
elicited or determined by its solution, than a correction of long 
existing wrong impressions in regard to its name and origin. And 
to that end, permit me to contribute, through your columns, what 
information I possess in relation thereto. 

It has long been the generally entertained opinion, I believe, that 
the blue grass was originally introduced into Ohio from Kentucky, 
as the name by which it is commonly called (Kentucky blue grass) 
implies. Now, I have repeatedly characterized that appellation as a 
palpable and unqualified misnomer. And why? Because blue 
grass is not a native of Kentucky, but is of Ohio. Now for the 
proof of my assertion. The soil of Kentucky, "the dark and bloody 
ground," was originally heavily clothed with large timber, that part 
now known as the blue grass region, densely so. In that there were 
no prairies, no plains, and but little of it that was but sparsely 
timbered. Consequently it was manifestly impossible for blue grass 
to flourish there. Blue grass could only flourish in its wild state, 
or, rather, in the country's wild state, on very rich timberless lands, 
that were retentive of moisture, so that its almost perpetual verdure, 
when growing on such lands, would in a large measure protect it 
from the autumnal fires that swept over the country annually. 
Blue grass could not withstand repeated burnings like the sedge and 
other wild grasses, hence it was never found in its wild state on 
light and dry soils. But even had all else been propitious to its 


growth, I do not believe it could ever have obtained foot-hold in the 
now blue grass region, because cane, that effectual exterminator of 
all grasses, weeds, or anything else of more diminutive growth than 
itself, was indigenious to the soil. Hence the earlier pioneers found 
no blue grass there. Indeed, I have had it from the mouths of some 
of the old settlers themselves, that they knew of but two kinds of 
grasses that were natives of Kentucky, called respectively, the 
buffalo and the bear, both coarse and almost worthless, but would 
grow where cane would not. 

Blue grass was originally introduced into Kentucky from three 
widely distant localities. George Renick, who removed from the 
south branch of the Potomac river, to Clark county, Kentucky, in 
1794, took blue grass seed with him, but there were others, as I have 
understood, both before and after Renick, emigrants from the same 
region, who, on learning there was no blue grass in Kentucky, also 
took seed with them. And about the same date, it has been asserted, 
there was a package of blue grass seed sent from England to a lady 
resident of Kentucky, which seed was most assiduously cultivated 
and cared for, which was afterward in great demand and was widely 
spread. But where, friend reader, do you suppose the third import- 
ation came from? Mirabile dictu! From Ohio. Yes; from Ohio, 
whose people, from sheer habit of expression, have been led to 
believe that they were indebted to Kentucky for their most common 
grass, a grass to be found in the yard of every farm house in the 
State. In the earliest settlement of the interior of Ohio, there were 
a few individuals in Kentucky, who, having more cattle than grass, 
were in the habit of clubbing together, and sending their cattle in 
the Spring to graze through the season to Darby bottoms, opposite to 
where the City of Circleville now stands, where on and near the 
home farm of Mr. N. J. Turney, there were near 1,000 acres of blue 
grass growing, which, in all probability, had occupied the same 
ground ages upon ages before Kentucky was dubbed with her 
present name. It was the duty of the herdsmen of those cattle to 


strip blue grass seed in its season, in sufficient quantity to fill the 
bags brought along for that purpose, and on their return trip in the 
Fall, it was packed home on the backs of their spare horses. To 
this primitive way was Kentucky indebted, in part at least, for 
her since renowned blue grass. I do not mean to say these were the 
only importations of seed into Kentucky, for it is highly probable 
there were many others, but the foregoing are the only authenticated 
ones to my knowledge, and I believe they are reliable. 

For further evidence that the blue grass is a native of Ohio, I will 
state the fact that my father, George Renick, only a few years since 
deceased, saw it for the first time in Ohio, growing most luxuriantly 
on Lancaster prairie early in June, 1797, and afterward the same 
year in various other places. And then, our earliest pioneers found 
it here, in some places by the hundreds of acres in one body. Now, 
if the blue grass is not a native of Ohio, by whom, and when was 
the seed introduced? Jonathan Renick, Sr., who, early in March, 
1797, between starving and freezing, came near leaving his bones on 
the spot where the City of Columbus now stands, held the opinion 
that he had one blue grass pasture on Darby creek that was many 
centuries old. He also held the belief that the older the pasture the 
better and more productive it became, and that is my own convic- 
tion. The idea that blue grass will ever become sod-bound, if prop- 
erly treated, is, in my opinion, a fallacious one. The fact of its 
becoming so, is conclusive evidence to me of mismanagement. 

Circleville, Ohio, February, 1868. w. r. 

— -«^e^©Q_!fc^?> — 


[For the Farmer's Chronicle.] 


A few days since a friend handed me the United States Commis- 
sioner's Agricultural Report, wherein Mr. Lewis F. Allen, of Black 
Rock, New York, has contributed a long essay on the subject of the 
first introduction of English and other cattle to the United States, 
time of importation, different breeds, etc., though chiefly confining 
his remarks to the Short-horn and Durham breeds, enumerating 
their characteristic good qualities, etc. Now, although the article 
alluded to has many misstatements, at least as far as Ohio and Ken- 
tucky stock are concerned, yet had it appeared only in one of our 
agricultural or country newspapers, I probably would not have thus 
publicly noticed it; but appearing as it does in the United States 
Report, where it may hereafter be cited as an "historical fact," 
emanating, as it may be supposed, from no ordinary authority — as 
Mr. Allen is, I believe, the author of the American Herd Book — I 
feel unwilling that the reader shall be so far misled as to the real 
facts of the case without an effort to correct it, if possible, at least in 
one material point; and to the contesting the truthfulness of that 
one point, I will confine my remarks, without noticing errors of 
minor importance. 

Mr. Allen asserts, "that from all accounts we have had of the 
Patton stock, they were pure short-horns;" and in another place he 
gives the essential characteristic qualities that distinguish the 
short-horn from other breeds — enumerating, among others, that of 


early maturity as one. Now, any person at all acquainted with the 
Patton stock of cattle well knows that their horns were not short, 
nor did the cattle mature early; but, on the contrary, they were the 
longest-horned cattle, especially in their earlier days, that were ever 
bred in this country, the long-horns themselves alone excepted. 
Indeed, so long and generally clear were their horns, that they were 
for a long time in vogue for powder-horns, before flasks came into 
general use; a confirmation of which fact I had for years frequent 
opportunities of witnessing in passing almost daily through a large 
tan yard to and from school. And, also, that they were the longest 
arriving at maturity we ever had. That was their great fault. 
Now, how is it possible to reconcile these direct and palpable 
contradictions, and still maintain that they were pure short-horns? 
The fact is, the Pattons were no kin whatever to short-horns, further 
than one different breed is to another. 

Before the war of 1812, my father being centrally located as 
regarded the then cattle country, and Chillicothe being the only 
town of any note in the Scioto valley, his house was a great resort for 
cattle men, and in their frequent conversations the subject of the 
breed as well as the management and all other matters pertaining to 
cattle often came up, and particularly was the breed discussed on the 
arrival of the Harrison bull from the East on his way to Kentucky, 
but detained for a time at my father's, where many persons came to 
see him ; and young as I was, I was an attentive listener to all that 
was said in my presence, and I well remember that the general 
conclusion arrived at, or assented to, was, that the Pattons must be 
of the Bakewell breed, as they resembled that breed more than any 
other they could hear of in England; and I have a rather vague 
impression that one argument used in support of that opinion was, 
that the cattle were shipped out of the Severn river, in the South 
of England. But whether this latter was a well known fact, or only 
grounded on circumstantial evidence, I am unable to say. 

The Harrison bull alluded to was of the Miller importation, but 


was conceded to be of the same English origin as the Patterns, and 
in general conformation closely resembled the Patton stock, though 
their horns were not so long. 

After a while the subject of breed appeared to have lost its 
interest, and the war coming on, it finally died out, and I have no 
recollection of its ever having been revived, or former conclusions 
being contested or denied, until some of our modern writers, 
apparently ambitious of furnishing (without proper research or 
investigation, as 1 think,) "historical facts" for the benefit of the 
present and future generations, have assumed to class them as pure 
sAoH-horns, which I much doubt (judging from the length of horns 
of the Pattons of that day) if any of the old cattle men would have 
had the temerity to have done, without the fear of subjecting 
themselves to be laughed at for so ludicrous a suggestion. 

The short-horns were, I believe, chiefly confined to the North of 
England, and Bakewell lived in mid-England, and English historians 
inform us that he made the Liecester stock the basis of his improve- 
ment — wholly ignoring the short-horns. The Liecesters were a great 
improvement on the long-horns. But the knowledge of our early 
breeders in regard to the English cattle was limited to a few breeds. 
But now, with all the new lights before us — with the characteristic 
qualities of all the various breeds of England delineated and 
described by historians — we find that there is not now, nor has been, 
any other stock in England so nearly answering to the description 
of the early Pattons as the Bakewells. But there is yet one other 
point of resemblance, common to both stocks, of which our early 
breeders knew nothing as to its existence in the Bakewell, but 
afterwards found it in the Patton ; that is, Bakewell, we are told, did 
not make early maturity an essential point, but appeared to have 
been more zealous to obtain fat, in which he appears to have 
succeeded, but at the expense of the lean ; and that was very much 
the case with the few Pattons that were suffered to arrive at full 
maturity, and there is still another radical point of difference 


between the Pattons and short-horns not heretofore noted, which of 
itself is conclusive evidence that no near relationship has ever 
existed between the two stocks, and that point is that the calves of 
the Pattons were very large at birth, often causing serious loss to 
breeders by the death of many of their fine cows in calving. When it 
became known that the Durham calves were very small, that fact 
was highly appreciated by the old breeders, both in Kentucky and 
Ohio. And so I do not hesitate to say that Mr. Allen labors under 
a great mistake, when he attempts to class the old Patton stock as 
pure short-horns; and that his assertion to that effect may not 
hereafter be cited as an uncontested "historical fact," is the reason 
why I write the article. 

While I have pen in hand, permit me to say that I think it would 
have been as well if Mr. Allen, before berating Youatt for using the 
Rev. Mr. Berry for authority, to have been assured that he was 
himself correct. The Rev. Mr. Berry was an early writer on the 
subject of improved cattle; and Youatt, who, I believe, is esteemed 
as good authority on live stock in America, as well as in England, 
appears to have had confidence in Berry, who published a treatise 
on cattle some thirteen years before Youatt applied to him for 
assistance, without, I believe, during the intervening time, having 
the correctness of his statement contested, or certainly Youatt 
would not have confided in him without some qualification. In 
conclusion, I would say to Mr. Allen, if this should meet his eye, 
that I think the "owner of the Scioto river bottom farm of three 
hundred acres, nealy all in corn," referred to on page 319, must 
have been somewhat quizzically inclined when he narrated to him 
(Allen) his experience with another cattle man; though I doubt not 
that if the transaction had been ante dated some thirty or forty 
years, a prototype of the latter could have been found. w. R. 

Oircleville, Ohio, March, 1868. 


[For the Farmer's Chronicle.] 


I think it was in the year 1811, that my father, being in Baltimore, 
purchased three pairs of pigs, the produce of a sow that had then quite 
recently been imported from China. He gave Mr. Henry Vanmeter, 
of Mad River, in this State, one pair for bringing the others home, 
and before their arrival, Mr. William Miller, of this county, had 
coaxed him out of another pair, leaving himself but one pair. These 
he gave in charge to me, to feed and care for, which I did until the 
hogs had attained considerable size. These hogs all did well, and 
perhaps no county ever had a greater acquisition to their stock, or 
one that resulted in greater benefit to the country at large for the 
amount of money laid out. Yet, paradoxical as it may seem, the 
full bloods of themselves were not at all suited to the wants of the 
country at that time, because they could not travel; and as the 
great bulk of our hogs had to be sent to Baltimore on foot, they 
were, of course, unfit for that purpose; but their great value lay in 
crossing with the common stock of the country — and in that respect 
they were invaluable — a single cross nearly doubling the value of 
the old stock, which was, previous to that time, very indiiferent. 
These hogs had very short legs and great bulk of body, and, doubt- 
less, had more weight to their height than any other breed ever in 
Ohio. The remark was often made that, when very fat, they were 
highest when laying down — a remark not very far wrong. They 
were remarkable for their easy keep and for their great increase for 
amount of food consumed. 


Some years previous to the introduction of the China there had 
been another breed, called the old English, brought into this coun- 
try. These were the most uncouth looking, and, when feed was 
dear, the most unprofitable hogs that any country ever possessed. 
The Chinas and English were the very extremes of all hogs, I 
presume, ever in the State. The perfect antipodes of each other 
in every point and particular. The English, when full grown, were 
nearly the height of a common yearling steer, and perfect corn 
cribs. No amount of corn would make them fat in any reasonable 
time. In color white, the Chinas black — though often peculiarly 
marked with a white list around their bodies, and sometimes the 
fore part of the hog white and the hind part black, with no inter- 
mingling of colors, but black always predominating. And from 
these two most incongruous breeds Mr. Henry Beatty, who at the 
time was a tenant on the land of Mr. Miller, who still had the original 
boar brought from Baltimore, and Mr. Beatty having a full blood 
English sow, conceived the idea of founding a new breed, which he 
did in so skillful and judicious a manner as to crown his efforts with 
complete success; for, undoubtedly, his new breed were the best 
hogs ever in the Scioto valley, and held their reputation twice or 
thrice as long as any other breed ever in the country. These hogs 
had not, in any very marked degree, a single characteristic of either 
of their progenitors, though in general appearance and character 
they approached the China much nearer than the English. They 
were in color beautifully marked with large spots of black and 
white, with almost lithographic exactness, and there were no false 
forms, no running back to either ancestor, and such was their 
uniformity in color and general form that in seeing one hog you 
could not mistake another. 

I have never seen any person who was fully acquainted with the 
Beatty hog that hesitated to say that they were the most beautiful 
and the best hogs for profit, in our common way of keeping, they 
ever knew. They were hardy and prolific, and sows good nurses, 


and would bear average handling better than any other good breed 
I have ever seen, and there was no deterioration in them while Mr. 
Beatty lived, which was for some fifteen years after he perfected his 
breed. We have often had the best breeds that could be heard of 
in other sections introduced into this country — from the Miami, 
numerous times; from Kentucky and the East, often — but none of 
them have been of any marked permanent utility; they were gener- 
ally too tender, requiring too much care, and sows bad nurses. The 
second best breed, I think, we ever had here was what was called 
the Caldwell hogs, but I always thought they had the same origin as 
the Beatty hogs, only they were less skillfully bred, not having the 
uniformity of form or color of the Beatty hogs, but on the contrary, 
were very irregular, both in form and color — often showing in some 
degree the form of the old English, and strongly the color of the 

After Mr. Beatty had perfected his breed of hogs he bought a 
small farm in the immediate neighborhood of where I afterwards 
resided, and I had frequent opportunities of seeing his hogs, and 
conversing with him about them. He gave me his manner of pro- 
cedure in detail, more than once, but I have too far forgotten it to 
attempt a citation with any confidence. Mr. Beatty also greatly 
excelled in raising corn ; indeed, though almost illiterate, he was a 
man of no ordinary character. I would give a few examples of the 
great improvements and weights of these hogs, but fearing they 
might be considered savoring a little of the fabulous, I will refrain; 
but, in conclusion, I will venture to give an account of the death of 
father's Baltimore boar, inasmuch as it occurred in a rather singular 
manner. Father kept his boar until he was four or five years old; 
that is, he suffered him to live ; he could not keep him anywhere, 
except in a post and rail enclosure. He would throw down any 
ordinary worm fence and go where he pleased. He grew to be of 
immense size. Good judges supposed, if made very fat, he would 
weigh 750 or 800 pounds net. He would go to town when he 


pleased, and not give the road for anybody or anything. There 
was a slaughter-house and tan-yard on his road to town, and the 
owners of each had complained to father that his hog had killed all 
their dogs but one, six in number, five of them large bull dogs. 
But these were a small comparative number of dogs he had killed 
or maimed. At last a plan was laid to get clear of him, and have 
some fun, too. From the first settlement of Chillicothe there had 
been a sporting club which, every year up to the time of the follow- 
ing transaction, had a bear trained to have a bear and dog fight. 
But this year they had failed in getting a bear, but was determined 
not to be cut out of the fight, so they had it planned before hand for 
some of them to keep a watch, and the first time Renick's boar 
came to town the watchers must notify the club, and as all was 
ready, they could commence their sport without delay. So, agree- 
able to arrangement, the fight came off— the boar and 30 dogs. But 
in a very short time the boar had laid out six dead dogs, besides 
quite a number badly wounded, and one of the principals of the 
party, Harry McAllister, told me afterwards, that "if the men had 
not turned in and helped the dogs, the boar would have killed every 
d — d dog." I told him I thought the more dogs they put on him at 
once the faster he would kill. He said, "that is a fact, they were 
in each other's way." He then went on to tell me how expert the 
hog was in killing dogs, and said, " they never had a bear half so 
well trained." This hog's tusks were of enormous size and length, 
and his hide the next thing to that of the rhinoceros. w. R. 

Circleville, Ohio, March, 1868. 


[For the Farmer's Chronicle. J 



From the year 1821 to 1825, both inclusive, I was almost con- 
stantly engaged in buying stock or stores and selling fat cattle for 
my father; and besides buying collected lots, I picked up, as the 
drover's term is, that is, bought one, two, three, or half dozen in a 
place, from two hundred to three hundred head each and every 
year, and my range of purchase was not limited to one locality by 
any means, but extended from the fortieth degree north latitude in 
Ohio southwardly to Green river in Kentucky, and my motive for 
writing this article is to give a very brief descriptive sketch of the 
various breeds of native, as well as improved cattle, as they were in 
this range of territory in 1825 ; and to make the matter more intel- 
ligible, I must necessarily divide the above region of country into 
several different sections, for in each of these sections or districts 
the native stock, where no effort had been made at improvement, 
assimilated or possessed characteristic qualities peculiar to itself, 
and dissimilar from the other sections. 

I will begin with the so-called Hocking, or Hill cattle. This 
district extended from the eastern margin of the Scioto valley in- 
definitely eastward. These cattle were hardy, healthy and compact, 
but too small, and without room enough for improvement for profit, 
and were rarely dealt in by the regular feeder. 

The next I will describe were the Adams and Highland county 


cattle, with the adjacent territories of surrounding counties. These 
were known by the general name of Brush creek cattle, and were a 
little larger than the Hocking, also healthy, hardy and easily fatted, 
and their general good qualities almost made up for their inferior size. 

Then in Fayette, Madison, and parts of Clarke and Champaign 
were to be found the stock that was known by the general name of 
Barren cattle. These were much larger than the Brush creek, but 
their general qualities not nearly so good. They were looser made, 
harder to fatten, and very subject to disease. Indeed, their better 
size was almost their only recommendation. The traders in that 
stock themselves counted on a loss of from three to five per cent, 
per annum by murrain. But to show the reader that the loss, 
sometimes at least, was much greater, I will state the fact that in 
May, 1826, I bought sixty-three head, three miles east of Washing- 
ton C. H., and a month later, fifty-one head four miles northwest of 
Mt. Sterling, making one hundred and fourteen head in all, and on 
the 20th of April, 1827, I had but the even one hundred to sell, 
fourteen having died, all by the murrain, Yet these cattle were 
grazed the whole season after I bought them, on one of the very best 
blue grass pastures in Ohio, but they continued to die up to within 
ten days of the time 1 delivered them. 

The next and last districts in Ohio to describe is the Scioto valley 
counties, where there was such a mixture and commingling of all 
sorts, from the common scrub to the full blood Patton, as to render 
them utterly indescribable. I will therefore pass into Kentucky, 
beginning with the Green river cattle, which were a hardy, healthy, 
well-doing stock, but most too small for profit, and not otherwise 
very attractive, yet might be called barely passable cattle for that 
time. Then there was the south side Kentucky river native cattle 
that were a little larger than the Green river, and otherwise better 
cattle; but in this district a large portion of the cattle were more 
or less tinctured with the Patton, which greatly improves the stock 
in the aggregate, though I never saw any full bloods there. The 


Patterns were introduced to the south side at an early day by Gen. 
Adair, Mr. Thompson, Mr. Haggin and others; hence the inter- 

The north side district was composed of the counties of Woodford 
and Jessamine principally, where the native was almost unal- 
loyed by any foreign blood, and they were decidedly the best native 
cattle I have ever seen anywhere. Hardy, healthy, fair-sized, well- 
doing, salable cattle. In Mason and Fleming, with adjoining 
territory, they had a pretty fair stock of native cattle, with quite a 
considerable mixture with the Patton, making their cattle in the 
aggregate quite a good stock. 

I now come to the only remaining and most important district, 
on which I must necessarily dwell at greater length. This was 
composed of the counties of Fayette and Bourbon, with a large part 
of Clark and Scott counties. Here was the headquarters of im- 
provement in the Western country. Here they had, in 1825, a 
collection of different, well defined breeds, nowhere else to be 
found, I presume, in this or any other country, for the size of terri- 
tory. Here could be found the full blood Patton, the full blood 
Long-horn, the Short-horn, Hereford and Native, with all their 
crosses and re-crosses, which, with the practice of indiscriminate 
breeding that followed the general discrediting of the long-horns, 
which had even then began and continued for years, produced a 
breed of cattle to be found in no other country or clime. They 
were very large and a very fine appearing cattle, and had their 
shamble qualities been good, they would have been very profitable to 
the breeder, feeder, butcher, and all concerned ; but the fact being 
otherwise, they were very unsalable in the Eastern markets, and 
nicknamed by the butchers there "red horses;" and it is only 
within a few years that the Kentucky cattle have recovered from 
the odious character given them in the Eastern market by that 
stock. Not longer ago than ten years the same cattle would com- 
mand from twenty-five to fifty cents per hundred more if they 


could be passed off for Ohio rather than Kentucky stock — and this 
has often been resorted to by the drovers. 

As a further evidence of the general discredit of the Kentucky 
stock, I will state a circumstance that occurred with myself in 
Boston. The first lot of improved Durhams that were ever sent to 
an Eastern market from the West I sold myself, in Brighton, in 
1842 — twenty-four head — belonging to my father. On my arrival 
at Brighton I called on Mr. Bennett, a butcher at that time doing 
the largest business in his line of any other in the United States, 
killing forty-five or fifty large cattle per week in the warmest 
summer weather, and from one hundred to one hundred and fifty 
per week during the balance of the year. I told him that I had 
twenty-four very fine Durham cattle I wished to sell him. He 
replied that I "had better not call them Durhams, or I might find 
them rather hard to sell, as the Durhams were in bad credit in that 
market." I told him that I did not think there had ever been any 
of the improved Durhams in that market, and asked him if he 
called a certain twelve head, that came from New York the week 
before, Durhams. He said, "Yes." Then, I said to him, it was 
evident that he did not know what the Durham was. We called 
such cattle Kentucky red horses, the worst kind of butcher's cattle. 
He said, "that was a fact, they were the worst." But when he saw 
my cattle he admitted he never before had seen anything like them. 
And after he had slaughtered the ten head I sold him, he told me 
they were the best and most profitable he had ever killed ; remark- 
ing that their hides were so thin, and their rough fat so drifted 
away, that to get near as good quality of beef from Connecticut 
river (where they obtain their best cattle) he would have to buy 
nearly double the quantity of hide and rough fa£, on which there 
was a dead loss to him of one cent per pound, making sixty to 
seventy-five dollars per week. And he afterwards told me that he 
had kept one side of one of those animals in his ice house for two 
weeks, and had then reserved a part of it for his own use, and better 


beef than that was he had never tasted. Those cattle were half 
blood Durham and half Patton generally; though some of the Pat- 
tons had a cross with the Kentucky short-horn, of the importation 
of 1817, and one or two of them nearly or quite full blood of that 
stock — I mean the ancestors of those cattle. 

I have often been asked why it was that the blooded cattle did 
not spread or become so general in Ohio as in Kentucky. My 
answer is, that the cattle region in Kentucky being somewhat re- 
mote from a commercial point, together with excessive bad roads, 
and more than all, their people being in possession of an incompara- 
ble fine soil for the growth of grass, which, with the help of their 
slaves, was easily prepared for that purpose without much expense, 
only a partial denuding of its heavy timber being required, it fol- 
lowed as a natural sequence that the breeding and raising of cattle 
presented the best and most available source of profit to be derived 
from their lands. Consequently it was their best policy to procure 
and foster the best breeds. 

In Ohio the matter was entirely different. Our lands were not 
generally nearly so well adapted to grass, and the cost of subduing 
them was greatly more; and our pursuits were more diversified, 
the irregularity of quality of our soil necessarily making them so. 
And besides the impression that generally prevailed among the 
people there, was the self-same doctrine that the New York Tribune 
has inculcated within the last four months, viz.: "That it is useless 
to have blooded cattle without you can give them extra feed," and 
although I had supposed this to be a long ago exploded idea, but if 
such an axiom can be taught at this late day by a prominent paper 
professing so much solicitude for the farmer's best interest, surely 
our earlier settlers had a comparative well-grounded objection to 
blooded cattle, when the Hill man would say the blooded cattle 
require better keep than we can give them, our only pasture during 
summer time being the timber range; and the Barren man would 
say, Our cattle are so subject to the murrain, and as the blooded 


cattle require better keep than we usually give our cattle, they (the 
blooded cattle) would be sure to be the first to die. But I have so 
often witnessed the refutation of the above theory that I unhesi- 
tatingly assert that, with the old Patton stock to cross with, 
whether in the hills or the valleys, "blood would tell," no matter 
how the cattle were kept. w. R. 

Circleville, April, 1868. 

[For the Farmer's Chronicle.] 


Although "Buckeye's" strictures on friend Klippart's remarks 
in relation to the comparative excellence of our best improved 
cattle of the present day, with those imported by the Ohio Live 
Stock Importing Company, may not be entirely groundless, yet when 
"Buckeye" assumes that the importers of those cattle were cattle 
feeders rather than breeders, he is slightly mistaken. The original 
subscription list of that company contained the names, I think, of 
forty-four men, though some half-dozen of them never paid up their 
installments, and their names were stricken from the list. Then 
there were a few subscribers who were not cattlemen, nor even 
farmers, but were friendly to any project of improvement that could 
present even a probable show of success, aside from those I imagine 
the names of but few men could have been found on that list who 
would not have considered their vocation misrepresented in not 
being classed as cattle-breeders as well as feeders, though many of 
those were such, only in a small way; yet they took pleasure in that 
branch of their business and gave it their time and attention, for a 
time at least. It was not wholly because the stock did not fall into 


proper hands that we have not now a larger increase of pure bloods 
of that stock, but there were other causes that contributed to that 
result; the chief among them, perhaps, was the great and disastrous 
revulsion of 1837, that reduced the price of all live stock to so low a 
point as to make them hardly worth caring for. 

It is pretty generally known, I believe, that the stock in that 
company proved in the end highly remunerative to stockholders, 
but the difficulties attending its organization may not be so well 
known, and a few words on the subject may not be out of place here. 
Therefore, I will say that it was not by any means considered a 
speculative scheme, but, on the contrary, it was deemed of too 
chimerical a character, for safe investment, or to risk much money 
in, and it was with great difficulty that the desired amount, $10,000, 
was finally raised, and that was only accomplished by a majority of 
the stockholders doubling the amount of their original subscriptions, 
and admitting a few Kentuckians as stockholders. None but ardent 
friends of improvement would take any stock. As an example of 
the views then generally held of the enterprise, I will narrate a little 
anecdote about one of the stockholders, Mr. Lynne Starling, of Col- 
umbus, who, at the instance of Mr. Felix Renick (who was an 
intimate personal friend of Starling's), was induced to take one 
share, $100, and after the closing of the company's business, Mr. 
Renick called on Starling to pay him the proceeds of his share, and 
after counting out the money to him, Starling exclaimed: What! 
what does all this mean? Mr. Renick asked him if he did not 
remember taking and paying for one share of stock in the Ohio 
Importing Company. Starling had forgotten it, but finally said, 
what of that? he had subscribed for said stock solely because he 
(Mr. Renick) had requested him to do so, but that he had never 
expected to have one dollar principal or interest returned, and 
concluded, "you have counted me out $300, making it the most pro- 
ductive stock I ever owned." 

There was a great difference in the quality of the individual 


animals of that importation. Some of them were undoubtedly of 
the best stock then in England. Then again there were some that 
were known not to be thorough-bred improved Durham, and others 
that were called full-blood that had no other recommendation about 
them that would now specially attract the attention of our best 
breeders, and doubtless there are many better cattle in Ohio to-day 
than a majority of that stock. But there were some among them, I 
imagine, would be hard to beat, even now, here or elsewhere. 


[For the Ohio State Journal, Nov. 25th, 1869.] 


Inasmuch as the Ohio State Journal has lately seen fit to change 
its life-long policy in regard to a protective tariff, will you not allow 
an old subscriber, who has not changed, a small space in your 
columns to express his regret that a journal that he has patronized 
for more than forty years, should now think it had become necessary, 
for the promotion of the best interests of our common country, to 
set aside all its former teachings, and this too, just as our protective 
policy is having its full effect in the hitherto unprecedented in- 
crease and enlargement of our manufactories of all kinds all over 
the country, North, South, East and West — the protectionists' 
orignal desire and aim — and give my reasons why I cannot concur 
with you in opinion? 

We have had two revenue tariffs before, and what has been their 
effect? I will ansAver by giving my own opinion: that the sliding 
scale tariff of 1833, which began to show its evil effects in 1836, in 
combination with President Jackson's veto of the United States 
Bank, was the prime, if not the sole cause, of the disastrous 


revulsion of 1837. A gentleman, who was one of the five advisors 
of the Governor of Massachusetts, told me in 1842 that the people 
of New England could have withstood the veto, but the reduction of 
the tariff was too much for them, and the consequence was that 
nearly all the smaller manufactories were then standing still; and, 
chiefly from the loss of that custom in and around Boston, it requir- 
ed less than two-thirds the number of cattle to supply Brighton 
market that it did five years before. But the protective tariff of 
1842 enlivened every thing, and we were going ahead swimmingly, 
until we were again overtaken by another revenue tariff in 1846, that 
shut up, in one year, by actual count, ninety-six iron furnaces, 
forges, rolling mills and other manufactories of iron, in Pennsylvania 
alone; and in all probability many of them would have remained 
closed (at least until the extraordinary demands for iron for railroad 
and other purposes, some five or six years later, revived the price, 
until at one time pig iron commanded even a higher price in gold 
than now in currency) had it not been for the starvation in Ireland, 
which opened a market for our breadstuffs hitherto unprecedented, 
and which was closely followed by the discovery of gold in Califor- 
nia. These combined kept off the bad effects of the latter tariff 
from being fully realized, which otherwise would undoubtedly have 
been seriously felt. But our manufactories generally, from '47 to '6l, 
were in a languid condition, or at least they did not keep pace in 
improvement with the increase of population; until in 1861 every 
branch, almost, was at a very low ebb. But what a gratifying change 
has taken place under our present tariff. And I conscientiously 
believe it has been the main pillar of support, and the continuance 
of prosperous times since the war, by encouraging and building up 
our manufactories, and they in their turn diffusing life and activity 
into almost every other branch of business. 

But let us see for a moment what good reason consumers generally 
have seriously to complain of the present tariff, at least in regard to 
some of the leading articles of manufacture. Nearly all woolen 


fabrics, I believe, are now selling about as low, counting gold at 133, 
as in 1860, under the so-called revenue tariff of '46, notwithstanding 
the duty imposed upon wool in 1867 — and the same remark will 
apply to most cotton goods, if we take into consideration the ad- 
vanced price of raw cotton, w r ith which the tariff has had nothing to 
do, as you know. Salt sold a short time ago at about the same gold 
price as the average before the war. Coal sold in New York, one 
year ago, at about the same, but other influences have materially 
raised the price this year; and how can the present high price of 
lumber be wholly ascribed to the duty? Can a duty of 23 per cent, 
raise the price of an article from 50 to 100 per cent.? The duty on 
pig iron is probably too high, though it is less than from '16 to '32, 
and the same as from 1842 to 1846. But, like lumber, the present 
high price cannot be imputed to the duty alone; the active demand 
and other influences have kept up the price of that article also. 

But some prominent newspapers advocate the reduction, or rather 
repeal of duty on iron, that we may build iron ships, that are fast 
superceding wooden vessels for ocean navigation. Will such papers 
explain by what process, known outside of Wall street, that we, with 
iron (even without any duty whatever) and skilled labor, both at 
least from 25 to 33 per cent, dearer, can compete successfully with 
Glasgow, Scotland; and other English shipyards? And there, too, 
where the vessel is built, they have neither duty nor freight for transit 
of material across the ocean, to pay. If we build with England iron 
we have not only the frieght, but whatever duty, whether protective 
or revenue, that may be assessed, to pay. Doubtless there are many 
articles, the duties on which can be reduced, some of them ma- 
terially, with great advantage to manufacturers, as well as to the 
country at large. And this is, I believe, w T hat the so-called revenue 
advocates claim, at least in part. If so, why adopt an odious 
misnomer — Free Trade — which is calculated to repel, rather than 
allure converts to their professed doctrine, and their apparent 
affiliation with the New York Free Trade League will not help their 


cause. But some favor a reduction of the tariff' for the purpose of 
increasing the revenue, which implies, of course, largely increased 
imports. Now I have heretofore regarded heavy or excessive 
imports to be the bane of our country. It appears to me that one 
hundred millions of dollars per annum, including smuggling and 
fraudulent invoices, in exchange against us now, as quite enough in 
all conscience, without any further addition. 

No doubt some interests are seriously adversely affected b}^ the 
present tariff' (and perhaps none much more so than the publishers 
of newspapers). Therefore if it can be so modified as not to ma- 
terially increase imports, nor largely reduce revenue, and without 
paralyzing, or impeding the rapid growth of our manufactories, then 
I say, go ahead, I am content. 

The assertions of Mr. Perry or Brinkerhoff", or both, that the 
English laborer can lay up more money from his week's wages than 
the American is able to do, needs confirmation. We know that the 
English skilled laborer does not receive by one-third as much, and 
the German and Swede not much over one-half as much as the 
American receives; and if they are enabled to lay up more, or 
nearly as much, as the American is able to do, it is by their more 
frugal and economical manner of living. And the assertion of Mr. 
Perry that the cost of raising wheat in this country is doubled in 
consequence of the high rates of duty assessed on iron, is so exag- 
gerated and ridiculous as to refute itself. 

I think Mr. Perry, rather unfortunately for his cause, cited 
England as an example for us to follow. Now even if the situation 
of the two countries was analagous, which it is not, a policy that may 
suit England, with her teeming population, and consequent 1ow t 
wages for her laborers — a country that can no longer bread herself — 
presents no criterion for a young and unprecedently growing country 
to be governed by. But on the contrary, to find a market for her 
surplus breadstuff's, and numerous other productions of her soil, vast 
in extent as it is, should be her controlling policy, and so far as 


cereals and their products are concerned, her home market is worth 
to her more than that of all the world beside ; and the more manu- 
factories we have the greater the home market. Therefore we 
should leave no stone unturned to encourage, build up, and foster 
our manufacturers, for therein our country's vitality lies — through 
them her progressive life's blood flows. w. R. 


[For the Cincinnati Times-Chronicle, 1870.] 


It appears that the editor of the Cincinnati Gazette, in his violent 
denunciations of the protective tariff system, does not scruple to 
employ any demagogical term that may serve his purpose for the 
time being. For instance, he says the present tariff confers a 
monopoly on the manufacturers of pig iron. Monopoly, forsooth! 
The word should be stricken from our vocabulary, to prevent its use 
by demagogues. It has no real application, and can have none, in 
this free land of energy and enterprise ; unless, indeed, by a strained 
construction, the granting of patent rights for short periods can be 
so termed. But even granting for a moment such an absurdity to 
have an existence, how long could it last, when the Gazette's 
correspondent, J. H. C, who is a pig iron man, tells the editor that 
seventy-five new furnaces will go into operation within the year, and 
Greeley says one hundred? 

But with what grace can the editor make such a charge at the 
present time, when the same correspondent shows him, as plain as 
figures can make it, that the price of pig iron was actually one 
dollar per ton higher, on an average, for five years — from 1852 to 
1856, both inclusive — counting gold at 138 (the editor himself 


usually counts it at 140), than for the past five years? Comparing 
the four years prior to 1855 with the last four years, the average per 
ton was four dollars higher during the former period. Is it possible 
that his favorite revenue tariff also conferred a monopoly? It was 
the only one in existence then. nil. 


[For the Cincinnati Times-Chronicle, 1870.] 



Has it not often struck you as a most singular, and at the same 
time a most significant coincidence, that the English Free Traders 
and the American Free Traders, or Revenue Reform men, as they 
style themselves, should so harmoniously harp on the self-same 
string? Are the best interests of the two countries so identical? 
Can it be that a measure enacted for the best interests of our own 
country will also prove conducive to the best interests of a compet- 
ing country? Instance the life and activity infused into the pig iron 
business in England by the vote in the United States House of 
Representatives last winter, reducing the duty on that article from 
$9 to $5 per ton. Or rather does it not appear to the uninitiated an 
inexplicable paradox? But are the interests of the two naturally 
antagonistic parties precisely the same? Let us see: The English- 
man's desire is to have all American protection removed, and when 
that is done his whole object is attained; all he wants is to have our 
doors thrown wide open to let him in without restraint. But this is 
only the beginning of the American Free Traders' design. The 


result following the reduction is what he is after, which he well 
knows is as certain as that the sun will shine again. And what is 
that result? Simply a reduction of the price now paid for all 
manual labor. « Evidently that is the prime motive. Little by little 
it has been made apparent to the more than casual observer. Let 
me give a single illustration : One of the chief arguments of the 
American Tariff' Reformer is that the "iniquitous" tariff' has 
destroyed ship building. Let us see how that is. It is asserted that 
the building of a vessel in this country, in consequence of the duties 
imposed upon the material^ costs from 25 to 33^ per cent, more than 
it ought, to enable us to compete successfully with other countries. 
And the Gazette says the labor performed in the construction of 
wooden vessels is two-thirds the cost of the vessel (probably a fair 
estimate). Now suppose a vessel is ordered to be built, which under 
present circumstances will cost $60,000, but ought not to cost, by 
the lowest estimate — say one-fourth or 25 per cent, off' — but $45,000, 
in order to compete with foreign builders. Now, according to the 
Gazette, $40,000, or two-thirds the cost, would be charged to labor, 
leaving $20,000 for material; and were all the duties entirety removed, 
there would be a saving of 20 per cent, on the wood part of the 
material, which is by far the greater part, and about 35 per cent, on 
the iron, and 35 to 50 per cent, on other material used, or say about 
25 per cent, on the whole $20,000, which would reduce the cost 
$5,000, making the vessel cost $55,000, but which, even with the 
abolition of all duties, and without any revenue to the Government 
(they are sticklers for revenue, you know), would still be $10,000 — 
too much to compete successfully with foreigners. But to be on the 
safe side, call it $9,000. Now how is this $9,000 to be saved? 
Every intelligent Free Trader or Reformer knows how it is to be 
done. He knows full well there is but one inevitable way, and that 
simply by a reduction of all laborers' wages, so as to conform some- 
what to the prices paid by our foreign rivals. This is the long and 
the short of it. 


The Reformers grievously lament the miserable policy that forces 
us to purchase a few millions of dollars' worth of shipping of the 
foreigner, if we can not, chiefly on account of the ruling high price 
of labor, build vessels of our own. Herein they charge that the 
tariff discourages American industry. But circumstances alter cases 
hugely, with them. Instance their dissatisfaction at the insignificant 
amount of only $44,000,000 worth of wool and woolen goods being 
imported annually. It is not enough. The "iniquitous" tariff 
restricts it. Our home manufacturers and wool-growers have not 
competition enough with that small amount. And then thirty-two 
millions of iron is a mere bagatelle. It converts the whole batch of 
our iron-mongers into "monopolists." We can raise the cotton and 
send it to Europe to be manufactured for us, but the great lament 
is that the return of only twenty-four millions annually is not 
enough to draw the cords tight enough on our home manufactories. 
The " iniquitous" tariff restricts importations of cotton goods, as well 
as those of wool and iron. So, also, it will only allow us to have 
fourteen millions of foreign hides and skins, or nine or ten millions 
of wood and wooden manufactures. Now why not, to accommodate 
these Reformers, reduce the duties one-half, and import double? 
Government would get about the same revenue, and we could kill 
three birds with one stone — we could find a foreign market for about 
150 millions of bonds per annum, or their equivalent in our surplus 
gold annually, we would put an end to all monopolies in the way of 
manufacturers, and it would prove an effectual stopper to the 
arrogance of our laboring men and mechanics in longer demanding 
present prices for their labor. This sham pretense of materially 
reducing prices wholly and alone, or even chiefly, by the reduction 
of duties, without interference with the price of labor, is too 
manifestly absurd, when properly considered, to delude even the 
most superficial observer. nil. 



[For the Cincinnati Times-Chronicle, 1870.] 


The Free Traders and Reformers, one and all, I believe, with one 
accord, express deep solicitude for the laboring man's best welfare, 
and even the poor farmer occasionally is made a recipient of their 
sympathies. The Gazette deplores the " wretched system " (Protect- 
ive Tariff) that forces the laboring man to pay, under "Gen. 
Schenck's perfected plan," from 100 to 150 per cent, more for the 
cottons and woolens that cover his body, or 140 per cent, more for 
his blanket, than he otherwise would do, and the Commercial 
characterizes it as simply monstrous and extortionate. Now all 
these charges are made in the face of the fact that every article, I 
believe, in the whole catalogue of products of our manufactories or 
other industries has receded in price since the war materially — most 
of them largely — and some of the more prominent have gone back 
almost, if not quite, to ante-war gold prices. Yet these papers have 
not been reduced in price to their country subscribers one penny, 
but the maximum war prices are still demanded, evincing the fact 
that there is no pig-iron furnace in the land that can at all compare 
with either of them as a monopolist, nor, indeed, can any other 
manufactory of any kind whatever. Yet I have heard no one 
complain of the present prices of those papers. The greater number 
of well-meaning men, I believe, subscribe to the old maxim : "Live 
and let live." But what makes the matter so ludicrous is the seem- 
ingly intense eagerness of those papers for reform, and to force a 
further general reduction of prices, without including themselves — 
"leaving themselves out in the cold." Strange, isn't it? 


But not content with their own efforts to annihilate the 
"inquitous" thing, they must applaud and eulogize the astute 
Professor Perry in his attempts to outrival Munchausen himself. 
Instance Perry's assertion, that in consequence of the duties imposed 
by the present tariff on iron and lumber, the cost to the farmer of 
raising his wheat is doubled, and other statements of like character, 
including some of his own grievances in the matter of his coat 
costing thirty-five dollars, whereas the Englishman's coat, just like 
his, cost but ten dollars. That was a happy thought of one of Perry's 
audience to inquire how much the English tailor received for 
making that ten-dollar coat. Such gross and unwarrantable 
exaggerations, spiced with glittering generalities, sophisms and 
calling invidious names, enter quite too largely into reform 
arguments generally. If their cause is a just one, it appears to me 
that the facts, and facts only, supported by figures and statistics, 
would be far more effective and better appreciated by an intelligent 

But I would advise the laboring man, whether Republican or 
Democrat, not to place too implicit reliance in every statement he 
may see in the newspapers, or hear from the rostrum of a Professor, 
for some of them are interested, by hire or otherwise. But much 
the better way would be for him to exercise a little thought and 
consideration, and examine into the matter himself. Let him 
inquire into the present price of ordinary blankets, common cloths, 
cotton, picks or shovels, and then ascertain, if he does not know 
himself, or cannot remember, the price paid for these same articles 
ten years ago, when a purely revenue tariff ruled the land ; and also 
ascertain the prices then paid for labor, and compare them with 
present prices, and see if the advanced price he now receives for a 
single day will not pay, or more than pay, for advanced price on his 
blanket, or on the ordinary cloth for his coat, or for his pick or his 
shovel, and so with each separate article of his wardrobe or common 
tools : and draw his own conclusions whether in the end he is not 


largely the gainer by the present state of affairs, notwithstanding the 
endeavors of the Reformers to impress upon his mind the prepos- 
terous and absurd idea that the present tariff seriously oppresses 
him. The truth is that the general prosperity of the country and 
its labor is so intimately blended that it is impossible for the country 
to flourish while labor is oppressed; nor can labor be depressed 
under a flourishing state of the country. 

Every laboring man, of whatever station or degree, can, without 
a moment's hesitation, have an idea what effect the introduction of 
an abundance of Chinese labor would have on his interest, yet it 
would take a long time to introduce enough of that kind of labor to 
have a very serious general effect. But a material reduction of the 
duties now imposed on imports would have an equally bad effect, 
and that almost instantaneously, by admitting a flood of goods, made 
by low-priced foreign labor, to come in competition with manufactures 
of like character made by our own labor, that now commands nearly 
or quite double that of the European. 

Since 1828 we have had five changes of the tariff — three on the 
principle of protection, and two revenue. Under the former our 
country has at all times, without exception, enjoyed a high degree of 
prosperity, without a financial revulsion, or even a serious or 
lengthened depression of times; labor at all times found abundant 
employment at good prices; and although the prices paid for labor 
was good at the commencement of both revenues, after a time it 
retrograded and declined to the very end, as a reference to prices of 
1841 and '42 and 1860 and '61 will incontestibly prove, and the same 
remarks will apply with equal force to almost all kinds of manufac- 
tures and farm products as well; and furthermore, it was under these 
revenue tariffs that our financial revulsions and lengthened depres- 
sion of times have occurred — and, situated as we are, occurred as a 
matter of course — an inevitable sequence — an attendant upon all 
revenue tariffs, because of the excessive and endless drain of coin 
thev occasion. T do not believe that a revenue incidental tariff 


would be much preferable to a pure revenue one. I regard it about 
as hard to define as General Jackson's judicious tariff; and as I 
believe it to be understood by some, at least, of the Reformers, I 
would characterize it as a plausible delusion — the more dangerous 
by reason of its plausibility, because it will not, at all times, afford 
protection enough to prevent an overflow of foreign fabrics. Next 
to protection, our manufactories and labor of all kinds need stability; 
and stability, in my opinion, they cannot have under incidental 
protection, because, upon the occurrence of every European financial 
revulsion, or serious depression of times, or upon every European 
overstock of goods, our country will be flooded with their wares — 
breaking down prices, closing many of our manufactories, and bring- 
ing ruin on others : consequently throwing out of employment large 
numbers of workmen and reducing the wages of those retained, and 
finally entailing a widespread, serious derangement, if not general 
embarrassment, upon the business of the country. W. R. 



74 logan's tree. 

[ For the Herald and Union, 1870.] 


Inasmuch as Mr. G. P. Stevenson is now engaged in the 
construction of a map of Pickaway county, and wishes to designate 
thereon the spot where Logan delivered his famous speech; and as 
there has been some discussion in relation to its locality, I have 
thought it not out of place to give a short history of those days as 
laid down by the most reliable historical authors. The most reliable 
version, I believe, is that in 1774 the English Government instructed 
Lord Dunmore, who was then Governor of Virginia, to raise a suffi- 
cient force and proceed to the Indian settlements Northwest of the 
Ohio river, and chastise them for some of their atrocities. This was 
the ostensible reason, but it was surmised by many of our statesmen 
of that day to be a pretense — the real reason being to conciliate the 
Indians by treaties, so as to use them as auxiliaries in the approach- 
ing rebellion, which was then brewing, to harass the back settlements 
of the whites. Dunmore did as directed, and divided his army into 
two divisions, giving the command of the left wing, or southern part, 
to Colonel Lewis: he himself commanded the main division. Lewis 
was met at the mouth of the Great Kanawha by the Indians under 
the command of the celebrated Indian warrior Cornstalk, and who 
were in large force, collected from all the interior of Ohio, as far 
north as Sandusky; and where Mount Pleasant now stands was 
fought perhaps the severest and bloodiest battle ever fought on this 
continent, north of Mexico — where one side was composed wholly 
of Indians and the other of whites. As to numbers, the two armies 
were about equal, and at first Lewis contemplated a decisive, if not 

logan's tree. 75 

an easy victory, but was soon astonished at the way Cornstalk 
handled his men, and as soon found he had his equal, at least, in 
strategy, to deal with. The battle lasted all of one day — a drawn 
battle — both armies retiring from the battlefield. During the night 
the Indians re-crossed the Ohio, but Lewis was in no condition to 
follow; indeed he was compelled to lay there several weeks to recruit 
his army. 

In the meantime, Dunmore had crossed the Ohio at the mouth of 
the Little Kanawha, and proceeded on his way to the Indian towns 
in Pickaway Plains, arriving and camping at a spot which he named 
Camp Charlotte, on the Winship and Gill land, arriving there shortly 
after the Indians had returned to the Plains, from the battle with 
Lewis, and immediately commenced to treat with them. But before 
a treaty was concluded, one of Dunmore's scouts reported Lewis 
advancing and would not stop, as the scout, by Dunmore's directions, 
had requested him to do. Dunmore then sent an officer of high 
rank to Lewis with peremptory orders to halt. This officer met Lewis 
as he was about to encamp for the night, at a point on the George 
Wolf land, but Lewis refused to halt, telling the officer that he 
would be in the Indian towns before daylight the next morning. 
The officer so reported to Dunmore, who immediately disguised him- 
self and started in the night to meet Lewis, which he did at about 
three o'clock in the morning, at which time Lewis had already 
advanced about one mile on his way from his encampment. Dunmore 
threatened Lewis with arrest if he did not forthwith obey orders, 
and Lewis had to submit. In treating with the Indians, Dunmore 
asked why Logan was not present, and was,,, told that Logan would 
not come. Dunmore then sent an officer and interpreter, John 
Gibson by name, after Logan to Chillicothe (Westfall) where he 
lived. The officer found him sitting on a log in front of his cabin. 
He arose and made his obeisance to the officer, who invited him over 
to see Dunmore and take part in the treaty. Logan refused, and 
it was then and there that he made his celebrated speech. 

76 louan's tree. 

On the last executed map of Pickaway county, we have the picture 
of a tree, entitled the "Logan Elm," on the farm of Major John 
Boggs, with the following inscription: "Standing on the bank of 
Congo, near where Lord Dunmore met Col. Lewis on his march to 
attack the Indians at Westfall, and supposed to be the tree under 
which Logan, the friend of the w T hite man, made his celebrated 
speech in 1774.' 1 Now I think it extremely doubtful whether Logan 
ever saw the tree, or was ever in the immediate neighborhood, 
because he had not long resided north of the Ohio river. He lived 
in Virginia until after the massacre of his entire family by Colonel 
Cresap, a few years before Dunmore's expedition; and at the time 
of that campaign he lived at Westfall, only having arrived there the 
Spring before and left for the North late in the Fall of the same year, 
there mourning in silent inaction the " shedding of the last drop of 
Logan's blood that coursed through the veins of a human being." 
And the only grounds upon which the past and present notoriety of 
that elm can be maintained, is the fact that Dunmore met Lewis 
about one mile from Lewis' encampment of the previous night, or 
rather the same night, as that night's mantle that overspread the 
land with darkness and gloom had not yet been lifted, and the dis- 
tance to the tree accords therewith. But this locality and its near 
surroundings was a heavily wooded section of the country, and that 
fact alone is quite sufficient to expose the ficticious character of the 
claim that it was under that particular elm tree that Logan deliv- 
ered his celebrated speech. And besides, historical accounts do not 
make mention of any particular tree. But that it does stand in near 
proximity to the point where Dunmore arrested the further advance 
of Lewis, can hardly be questioned, and for that reason it should be 
preserved as a memorial to that eventful act on the part of Dun- 
more that saved the Indians from massacre, and himself and army 
from the imputation of treachery. And when that is said, all is 
said, in relation to any bearing whatever that that tree ever had 
with Dunmore's campaign. 

logan's tree. 77 

I think it was in 1837 that an attempt was made at Chillicothe to 
get up a subscription to erect a monument to the memory of Logan, 
at Westfall, where he lived at the time of Dunmore's expedition, and 
where he made his celebrated speech; as, I believe, all old historical 
accounts affirm, and no person, so far as I know, up to that time, 
had ever doubted that fact. Many of our old pioneers were then 
still living, among them my uncle, Felix Renick, who was accounted 
the best posted man in Indian history that there was in this part of 
the country, and he took an active part in the eiFort to raise a fund 
sufficient to erect a respectable monument, but the time being on 
the eve of the great financial revulsion, it failed. The last time I 
saw the subscription paper for the erection of the monument, some 
$300 or $400 had been subscribed, my own subscription being $50, 
and all the ground necessary, the spot having been designated, and 
I owned the land. I lived within one and a half miles of that tree 
for twenty-four years, and to the best of my recollection, I never 
heard the opinion advanced that Logan made his speech at that point, 
much less that the treaty (as has been quite lately claimed) was also 
made under that tree, which tree stood in the woods, two miles out 
of the direct course between Camp Charlotte and the Indian towns. 
Evidently this whole claim is a bold and persistent attempt to pervert 
all historical accounts merely to give notoriety to that particular tree. 

Apropos to this subject I will say, the earlier settlers supposed 
Lewis' camp to be Camp Charlotte, until Judge Thomas Barr visited 
Pennsylvania some years after, when Barr, in conversation with his 
uncle, Williamson, who was in Dunmore's army, could not agree as 
to the locality of Camp Charlotte. Barr insisted that it was 
situated west of the creek, and the water of the creek run north ; 
Williamson told him that its location was on the north side of the 
creek, and the water run a southwesterly direction. Williamson 
also told Barr that a small mulberry tree grew very near the spring, 
one limb of which the soldiers had cut short to hang their canteens 
or drinking vessels; and he also told him that he, Williamson, had, 

78 logan's tree. 

at so many paces from the spring, and such a course, girdled some 
trees with his tomahawk, hoping thereby to obtain a pre-emption 
right to the land at some future day. Barr, on his return home, 
being convinced that Camp Charlotte was located on Scippo creek, 
instead of Congo, followed up the former stream until he found the 
spring and mulberry tree, with even the cut limb still on it, though 
dried up and ready to fall off. He also found the cleared spot at the 
proper distance and course laid down by Williamson, but not a 
vestige of the girdled trees remained. All this Judge Barr in effect 
gave in evidence in court some years later, in the case of McArthur 
against Joliff's assigns, when McArthur attempted to remove the 
Joliff survey up the river to cover the Sullivant farm, at Franklin- 
ton; and the Judge made the same statement to me personally more 
than once. John Joliff was a private in Dunmore*s army, and while 
the army lay encamped at Camp Charlotte, Joliff discovered this 
splendid tract of land over the river opposite this city, and made 
thereon the first survey every made in what is now Ohio, and probably 
the best one, considering its size (4,000 acres), at least, in regard to 
quality of soil. It was made without compass or chain, and so accu- 
rately and adroitly was it done and bound, that none of the numer- 
ous land sharks, as they were called, could ever move it or invalid- 
ate the title without first moving the location of Camp Charlotte, 
which they tried in vain to do. W. R. 



[For the Herald and Union, 1871.] 


" More Anon," in his reminiscence in last week's paper, of the 
early days of this valley, is not strictly correct, either in regard to 
dates or prices. He says, "from 1815 to 1825 was truly the era of 
hard times in Pickaway, and other counties." Now the "hard 
times" did not begin to have a general, serious effect till about 
the close of 1817. In the Fall of 1815, $6.50, net, was the current 
price for fat hogs, and not much less, if any, in the Fall of 1816. 
And laborers' wages were, throughout 1815, 1816 and 1817, about 
$15 or $16 per month and board. These figures do not infer hard 
times. In the Spring of 1817, my uncle, Felix Renick, sent a drove 
of 100 fat cattle to Philadelphia market that were sold for $134 per 
head on an average; 60 of the best sold for $160 per head, and only 
one steer selling as low as $109. But these were the best 100 cattle, 
in one lot, that any market in the United States, or probably else- 
where, ever to this day received. They were sold for about $11 per 
cwt., net. Good farms in the neighborhood of Chillicothe were 
worth $60 per acre. In the- Spring of 1816, my father was offered 
$65 per acre for his home farm, including the hill land. And here 
I will remark that in 1816 there was 100 new roofs put on in the 
town of Chillicothe; they were not all put on new houses, but far 
the greater part were. About 1815 or 1816, a large tract of land 
just below our town, including G. W. Gregg's farm, W. B. Marfield's, 
and part of the Ludwig farm, was sold for $30 per acre, and again, I 
think, about 1824, for $9 per acre. It was sold by the Sheriff the 


last time, as were almost all the lands in this county from 1820 to 
1825. My father sold a lot of cattle in the Spring of 1817 for $6.50 
per hundred, net, the average steer to be killed and weighed. In 
the Spring of 1818, my father and Joseph Harness, of the High Bank, 
each put in 50 cattle to make up a drove of 100, which necessarily 
had to be valued, which they were, at $52 per head; not crushing 
hard times yet. These cattle were driven to New York, the first lot of 
Western cattle that ever entered that market. They were sold at New 
York for $69 per head. 

Now I will come down to the real hard times, and which was the ' 
era of hard times in this country. These times embraced six years, 
properly speaking, from 1820 to 1825, both inclusive. During the 
most of that time the ruling price for laborer's wages was $5 per 
month and board, and labor was very abundant at that price. The 
ruling price of fat hogs, good driving hogs, $2 to $2.25, net; lighter 
pork $1.25 ; stock hogs about $1.25 sometimes, at others for what 
they would bring. Fat cattle, the best, $3 per hundred, net. In 
the Fall of 1821, my father and uncle William Renick bought a lot 
of very fat cattle for $22 per head — less than $3 per hundred — some 
of which had been fed two winters. I sold the same cattle myself 
in Baltimore, some five or six weeks later, for nearly double first 
cost; but this was pure good fortune, for a few weeks later the 
profits would have been within reason. In 1822 I bought a lot of 
75 head of stock cattle for $8.50 per head, all four and five year old 
cattle. In the Fall of 1824, I bought a lot of 65 head of stock 
cattle on the south side of the Kentucky river, for $8.12J per 
head. These cattle, from my recollection of their size, would 
have weighed 1,400 pounds, gross. They were all grade cattle, 
of good growth. I bought annually, from 1822 to 1826, a 
greater or less number of half-fed cattle at about $16 or $17 per 
head. The ruling price for corn in the field was a six pence — 
8J cents — per bushel, though I have bought thousands of bushels at 
6} cents. In the Fall of 1825, 1 bought 40 acres in one lot at that 


price, within three miles of this city. Lands in the Pickaway 
Plains, after repeated efforts of the Sheriff to sell them, would finally 
go off at about $10 per acre ; over the river, in the bottom, from $4 
to $7J per acre. Very few private sales were made from 1820 to 
1826-7. After that the price rose rapidly, and the completion of the 
canal put an entire new face on our affairs. There were instances of 
corn selling, in 1831-2, for three times as much per acre as the land 
on which it grew cost six or seven years before. 

That was rather a hard time when pork sold for one dollar per 
hundred, while corn was worth 12^ cents per bushel — better have 
sold the corn and bought the pork. W. R. 


[For the Cincinnati Gazette, April 13, 1877.] 


You cite the fact of having received a letter from Circleville in 
defense of the projectors of the Ohio canals in regard to a remark 
in the Gazette, but that it was written on both sides, precluding its 
publication,. Now that letter was, if I am not mistaken, marked 
private. It was not written for publication. It was merely written 
to draw your attention to the many inaccurate statements made in 
your closing remarks on the subject of Ohio canals, trusting that 
they would be corrected, or at least modified, so as to make a 
more reliable record of historical facts. . But, as the attention of the 
public has been drawn to the matter, I will rewrite it in substance, 
not verbatim, as it was written hastily, and I kept no copy. 


You said "the original construction of the canals was a blunder." 
I ask you if our leading men of that day, including DeWitt Clinton, 
Gov. Thos. Worthington, Alfred Kelley, and a host of our other 
best men, were imbeciles, utterly incapable of judging of what was 
for the best interests of our country, as your remarks implied. "They 
were built after the railroad era had fairly risen." I told you there 
was not a railroad whose motive power was steam in the United 
States when the bill for the construction of the Ohio Canal and 
Dayton & Cincinnati Canal passed the Ohio* Legislature, and 
that the first commenced lengthened railroad — the Baltimore & 
Ohio — was originally designed for horse power only, and even that 
power had not been applied when Hon. DeWitt Clinton threw out 
the first shovelful of earth from the Ohio Canal, and years after that 
the National Intelligencer strongly advocated canals in preference 
to railroads, saying if there was not room for both enterprises to pass 
the point of rock at Harper's Ferry, the canal should have the pref- 
erence, as it would undoubtedly be of greater utility — urging that 
the charge for carrying freight on railroads would necessarily have 
to be too great for the successful transportation of most kinds of 
produce. And the chief object for making the canals was to 
find a market for our productions that had become a matter 
of vital importance — to the people of the West in particular. 

"They run in the wrong direction athwart the course of trade." 
How, under heavens, could they have run in any other direction 
than they did? when it required years of survey and study to find out 
whether they could be made to run in any direction that would insure 
sufficient water in dry seasons to make them serviceable. They were 
located in the only possible, practicable way: besides, there was no 
outlet either East or West. "The talk of what they have done is 
shallow." This remark surprised me, when it was conceded many 
years ago that the short canal from Dayton to Cincinnati had added 
to the wealth of Cincinnati alone three or four times over the whole 
cost to the State of building that part of the Miami Canal before 


Cincinnati had a railroad at all, and I will give a few examples of 
what the Ohio Canal did for the country along its route. In 1826 
Mr. Henry Nevil, the largest wheat grower at that time in this 
country, ground into flour all his own wheat, and bought other 
wheat for twenty-five cents per bushel on time. In 1827 his dam 
had broken, and he being offered thirty-seven and a half cents, con- 
cluded to take the price rather than fix his dam, inasmuch as it 
appeared to him exceedingly doubtful whether he could realize more 
by grinding it. In 1828 he sold his wheat early for sixty-two and a 
half cents, but before he delivered it the price had risen to seventy- 
five cents. The whole of his crop, 250 or 300 acres, was wagoned to 
Newark, the canal having been completed to that point, where the 
price of wheat ruled at $1 per bushel. The year after the canal was 
finished to this point, my father sold to a Mr. Roup, of Buffalo, a 
large quantity of corn for twenty-eight cents per bushel in the field. 
When the corn was averaged it amounted to $22 per acre, and Mr. 
Roup said to me that he supposed the land had not cost much more 
than that. I replied that just six years before the land had cost 
precisely one-third the money, viz., I7.33J cents, bought at 
Sheriff's sale, two-thirds appraisement, $11. Previous to building 
the canal, say from 1820 to 1826, the usual price of corn in 
the Fall of the year in the field was 8J cents (6 pence), never over 
12J, and wheat 25 cents in store goods, or on long time : for years it 
could not be sold even at that price for cash. 

Many years ago I wrote an article on the subject that had a wide 
circulation. In that article, after depicting, in detail, the times 
experienced in the Scioto Valley before the canal, I said: "All 
thanks to the shades of Clinton. The completion of the canal put 
an entire new face on our affairs, doubling in price all the farmer's 
products and land also, as well as the laborer's wages, and, besides, 
diversifying our pursuits, enabling us to produce many things with 
profit that before were valueless, or nearly so." 

"The same money would have built four times as many miles of 


railroad." Now, sir, the Ohio Canal and Miami Canal, from Dayton 
down, cost, I think, not far from $13,000 per mile, while the average 
cost of all the railroads made in Ohio, was more than double that sum 
per mile — a slight difference in our statements. I admit the Miami 
Canal north of Dayton cost more per mile, but it cost from 30 to 50 
per cent, more than it should have done, as was clearly proven by 
the investigating committee appointed by the Legislature. That 
committe developed, I think, about the first stupendous frauds ever 
brought to light in Ohio. I can remember of but one example 
clearly enough to repeat it; that was the building of a certain dam 
for which proposals had been offered. The lowest responsible bid 
was to complete the work for $4,000. The bid was rejected, but the 
authorities would do the work themselves on State account. The 
result was that said dam finally cost the State about $13,000. This 
was only one of the many similar frauds in building that canal. 

Now, Mr. Editor, the Ohio & Dayton Canal, for a time at least, 
paid 6 per cent, per annum interest on cost of construction, and had 
paid for their construction, interest and all, many times over before 
a railroad locomotive ever entered Cincinnati. The idea you 
advance that "it is curious that by means of large investments the 
people of Ohio became partisans of canals as against railroads," is 
entirely new to me, and I cannot think it has any general foundation 
in fact. The canal men, so far as I know, are also ardent friends of 
the railroads, but they are not inclined to submit to the abandonment 
and entire destruction of the grand works that gave to the people of 
Ohio the first great impetus to their industries and enterprises ; that 
soon placed the State in the rank among her sister States, where 
she properly belongs. I will close this by citing a conversation I 
had with Mr. Abram Claypoole, an honored man, in Philadelphia, 
on the 4th day of July, 1825. He said had he supposed that he 
could not have returned to Ohio in time to take part in celebrating 
the grandest day for the future prosperity of her people that Ohio 
ever saw, he would not have made the trip at all, and this remark 


proved a prophetic one in its grandest sense. We say protect the 
Ohio canals. The days of their utility, though in a large measure 
superseded, have not yet passed. w. R. 


Note. — The foregoing was hastily written, and wholly from memory, and 
upon a subject on which I had scarce a serious thought for many years. 
But, on further reflection, aided by a little research, I find that the Dayton 
& Cincinnati Canal was entirely finished, and the Ohio Canal near its com- 
pletion, before a railroad locomotive had an existence in Europe or America. 
How, then, could the era of railroads have fairly risen? And, further, if 
the "construction of the Ohio Canals was a blunder," and if "they run in 
the wrong direction athwart the trade," when there was no Eastern outlet 
even in near prospect, what can be said in defense of the location of all our 
earlier important railroads some twenty years later, with two Eastern outlets 
already provided, or near completion, and with all the progressive new lights 
before them, running in the same direction, with the same Northern terminus, 
and that, too, when they were not dependent on water power as canals 
were ? 

Since writing the foregoing note, I found the following extract in my scrap 

"The first passenger railroad in the United States was the Baltimore & 
Ohio, which was opened December 28th, 1829, to Elicott's Mills, 13 miles 
from Baltimore. A single horse was attached to two of Winan's carriages, 
which were drawn eleven miles per hour. The South Carolinia Railroad, 
from Charleston to Hamburg, was the first constructed railroad in the 
United States, with the view to use steam power. The first locomotive in 
the United States was built for that road. Its performance was tested 
December 9th, 1830." 

Governor DeWitt Clinton, of New York, threw out the first shovelful of 
earth in the construction of the Ohio Canal, on the 4th day of July, 1825, 
and the Dayton Canal (60 miles) had been completed two years, and Ohio 
Canal nearly finished, before the first locomotive ever built in the United 
States was tested. " The first charter ever granted in the United States for 
a railroad was for a very short one at Quincy, Massachusetts, to carry granite 
blocks to tide water." Though Oliver Evans, of Philadelphia, had applied 
to the New Jersey Legislature, before the war of 1812, if I mistake not, to 
grant him a charter for a railroad from Bordertown, on the Delaware river, 
to Rariton Bay. But upon some of the members questioning him how fast 
he expected to go on his "Hobby," he replied, "the child was born who 
would live to see the motive power go as fast as a pigeon could fly." That 
remark proved fatal to his scheme ; they pronounced him crazy. 


[For the Commonwealth, Topeka, Kansas, March 26, 1877.] 


I do not think that the people of Kansas need entertain much ap- 
prehension of any serious destruction of their growing crops by the 
grasshoppers this Spring or early Summer, for the reason that I think 
it highly probable that the severe winter has, in a great measure, 
destroyed the vitality of their eggs deposited last Fall. In the 
grasshoppers' native region the snows fall early and deep and remain 
till late in the following Spring, thereby affording complete protec- 
tion from all vicissitudes or changes of weather. It may be that in 
some of the more sheltered localities some serious damages may be 
done, but as a general thing I do not believe it. The grasshopper is 
not a habitat of the country, therefore it is not in strict accordance 
with acclimation theory, whether in animal or vegetable life ; it is 
too much like a sudden transition from a torrid to an artic zone — a 
change of climate so great that but few animals, birds or insects can 
withstand. In a more genial climate, Texas, for instance, possibly 
the hoppers may flourish and become, for a time at least, a dire, if 
not a permanent plague. w. r. 


Note. — The foregoing article was written with the view to try to allay, in 
some measure at least, if possihle, the universal despondency of the people 
of that State — as was expressed by private letters received by me from 
different parts of that State during the winter of 1876-77. All regarded it 
as a forgone conclusion that the grasshoppers would again destroy the 
crops, and so general was that opinion that throughout Kansas almost every 
school district had its organization to fight the hoppers to try to save at least 
part of the crop. The eggs were known to have been deposited by count- 
less millions upon every acre of land in the east half of the State. 


[For the Cincinnati Gazette, February 20, 1877. J 


In reference to the anti-slavery movement, I think Mr. L. Boyd is 
right in his comments in Saturday's Gazette on the Rev. C. B. 
Boynton's remarks in his late sermon in Cincinnati, relative to the 
Christian churches taking a leading part in that measure, or even 
giving it, as churches, material support. The first President of the 
first anti-slavery society ever formed in this county was not a member 
of any church, and from my recollection of the matter, one-third or 
more of the members of that society were non-church members; the 
rest of said society were either Presbyterians or Episcopalians. A 
few individuals of each of those churches were active members of 
the society, but I never understood that by any means it was at the 
time considered a church measure, but rather regarded as a sponta- 
neous movement of the more sensitive of the wrongs of slavery 
whether in or out of the Church. The said society was formed, I 
think, in 1832-33, and it met with much discouragement, chiefly 
among intelligent men, because the society could give no definite 
way of procedure to accomplish their desired ends, except moral 
suasion, which many intelligent men thought nonsense, believing it 
entirely too visionary and impracticable to accomplish any good end, 
but, on the contrary, would be sure to engender dissension and strife 
between the North and the South. 

So far only I intended to write, but having pen in hand I will say 
a few words more not wholly irrelevant to the subject under discus- 


sion. From 1819 to 1826, considerable of my time was spent in the 
Blue Grass region of Kentucky, and often had I heard the expres- 
sion from slaveholders, " Would to God there was not a slave in the 
State of Kentucky," and I cannot remember of having met with 
even one man who was not a supporter, more or less ardent, for a 
convention to revise the Constitution of the State, though it was 
clearly understood that the alteration of the Constitution was for the 
avowed purpose of the gradual emancipation of slavery. At that 
time no man who did not warmly advocate emancipation could have 
begun to be elected to the Legislature from Bourbon county, the 
largest slaveholding county in the State at that time. 

In 1841, I met with Mr. Hugh Brent, of Paris, Ky., at the Blue 
Licks. Mr. Brent was a highly intelligent man, of large, wealthy 
and influential connections, and was an old and valued acquaintance 
of mine, and he said to me, " You know that twelve or fifteen years 
ago Bourbon county was almost unanimous for the gradual emanci- 
pation of our slaves, but now," says he, "the candidate who would 
favor that measure could not get a dozen votes in the county, and 
you people of the North have done all this work. Had you only 
kept quiet three or four years longer, we would have had gradual 
emancipation as a fixed fact in the State of Kentucky." He further 
said that at one time a call for a convention for the alteration of the 
Constitution had passed the lower house by a handsome majority, 
and was only defeated in the Senate by a few votes, but that it would 
surely have passed the Senate the next session had not abolitionism 
in the meantime broken out in the North, which so disgusted all the 
firiends of the measure that the whole matter was suddenly dropped, 
and afterward violently opposed by all parties. w. R. 



[For the Cincinnati Gazette, November 20, 1877. j 


Lately I made a hasty visit to your city, yet even my very limited 
time for sightseeing only tended to confirm me in my often expressed 
opinion that Cincinnati, with her natural charmful environs, prop- 
erly developed by artificial means, is destined to become the most 
romantic and picturesque city in the United States. Short as my 
time was, I managed to visit the Zoological Garden, and to ascend 
Price's Hill by the Inclined Plane; and after taking full view of the 
surroundings, I somewhat animatedly remarked to my very courte- 
ous and attentive guide, Mr. Price, what a beautiful landscape view! 
It is simply grand. 

Late in the Fall of 1841, I visited Cincinnati, stopping with my 
old friend, Col. John Noble, who kept the house on Fifth street, of 
late styled the Arlington, and during my stay the Colonel kindly 
proffered me the use of his riding horse to view the recent great 
improvements in the city. And upon seeing the extraordinary 
number of new buildings erected during the year — block after block 
of new brick houses — I thought what a pity it was that the hills 
approached so nearly to the river, leaving such a limited space 
whereupon to build up a large city. But what a change has come 
over my views since '41 ! The street and other railroads, including 
the inclined planes, have so wonderfully changed the situation that 
I now think the hills will eventually be the pride and grandeur of 


the city. And if your capitalists and public spirited citizens will 
lend a moderately liberal helping hand toward improving and em- 
bellishing nature's bounteous gifts, Cincinnati Avill present to the 
lovers of the beautiful and picturesque a rare and attractive resort, 
unequaled by any other city, at least west of the Alleghenies, and, 
doubtless, thousands will annually visit the city whose chief purpose 
will be for recreation and sight-seeing, and all with more or less 
profit to her citizens. 

When nature has done so much for any conspicuous place, money 
spent in its further improvement and embellishment is not by 
any means lost, but, on the contrary, it is a positive remunerative 
outlay. Hence, I would say to you wealthy and enterprising citizens, 
be not too chary with your means, wherewith to further improve 
and beautify the unrivaled natural charms of your city's surround- 
ings. It will be returned to you, in time, with interest, and thereby 
the city can, with the utmost propriety, retain the proud sobriquet 
of the Queen City of the West. w. R. 


[The writer's impressions in regard to the substantial improve- 
ments of our city are as favorable as his suggestions are valuable. — 
Ed. Gazette.] 


[For the Cincinnati Gazette, June 20, 1878.J 


In Gen. Beatty's violent censure of the acts of President Hayes, 
which did not harmonize exactly with his own views, he is repre- 
sented to have said, during the late convention: "The veto of the 
silver bill was an affort to defeat the only measure which made re- 
sumption possible without universal bankruptcy.' 1 

Now, it is my impression, that before the next Presidential election 
occurs, it will be almost universally regretted by the honest, practical 
business men of the country that the silver delusion had ever ruled 
to such an extent, among the members of the present Congress, as 
to render the President's veto nugatory in respect to the silver bill. 
Why? Because our present financial situation can not be compared 
with that which existed before the establishment of the National 
banks. Before the war, all our bank circulation was limited in 
extent, the great bulk of it being confined to the State in which the 
bank was located, making the collection of their issues comparatively 
not difficult, thereby rendering them liable to be run upon for coin 
upon every financial disturbance, and for hoarding purposes the old 
bank currency was entirely ignored. 

• How different now! Not one person in a thousand ever notices, 
or cares, from what bank, or where it is situated, his bill is issued. 
He has such entire confidence that it is good, beyond all peradven- 
ture, that he is perfectly satisfied to hold it and all such he can get, 
without any question of doubt of its intrinsic value. The notes of 


any given National Bank are so scattered all over the United States 
that it would be next to impossible to collect, in a given neighbor- 
hood, any considerable amount of any one bank within a reasonable 

But, suppose a person so disposed should attempt the collection of 
bank notes, with the view of getting the coin for them; and, 
further, suppose such person had learned that a certain other person 
held a considerable amount of National bank notes, how is the 
collector to obtain possession of them? Not one man in a hundred, 
perhaps, would exchange them for any other coin than gold, and I 
believe a majority of such holders would be unwilling to exchange 
such notes even for gold itself — because people have learned that 
those notes are equally as safe as gold, and are more easily secreted. 
If said collector should offer silver instead of gold for any such notes, 
nine chances to one he would be refused, and probably laughed at 
for his trouble. The well informed holder of bank notes will not 
exchange them willingly for anything in the financial line, alone 
excepting United States bonds, and for them only because they will 
produce him interest, and because the registered bonds are as safe 
an investment as the world can offer. 

Secretary Sherman is pursuing the proper course, and the 4 per 
cent, bonds will draw from their hiding places a hundred millions or 
more dollars of paper money, and consequently add a like amount 
to active circulation. The coining of the silver dollar for any other 
purpose than export is, in my opinion, an error; and the making 
of it a legal tender for all amounts an egregious blunder, without a 
redeeming feature, save to furnish politicians with a little short- 
lived buncombe, and newspapers with some sensational items about 
"the dollar of our daddies." Wlrv not as well go back to "our 
daddies'" mode of traveling — horseback or stage riding? Why not 
convey all merchandise and farm product by wagon, and drive our 
stock to Eastern markets over the old turnpikes, instead of shipping 
by railways? All would come under the same line of retrogression. 


"Our daddies" chose the best methods. Why not we? With 
them the sight of a gold piece was good for sore eyes. I well 
remember, before the old United States branch banks were intro- 
duced in the West, that the old Bank of Chillicothe had annually to 
go to the expense of sending by wagon their surplus silver to Philadel- 
phia. This was, nominally, to furnish exchange, but really it was 
almost a nuisance. The coin would accumulate largely in the bank 
vault. Nobody wanted it, if they could get paper money in its stead. 

In 1815 or 1816, when the Kentucky Legislature chartered forty- 
two new banks, in one batch, several of these institutions combined 
and collected $80,000 of Chillicothe Bank paper, and demanded the 
silver. The bank, without delay, counted out the whole sum in 
silver, and then expressed their hearty thanks to the Kentuckians 
for their "custom," inasmuch as it saved tine usual expense of 
wagon exportation. 

But let us see what aid of any kind is necessary in order to 
resume. Doubtless our enormous exports over imports will, in a 
large measure, protect the greenbacks; besides they will have over 
2,000 assistants, because it will be directly to the interest of every 
National bank, that the credit of the greenbacks should be sustained. 
And I regard the Nationals as specially well fortified against a 
successful run upon them, inasmuch as for thirteen years their 
circulation has been on an equality; no distinction was made, no 
matter whether a bank was solvent or insolvent — and the issues 
were equally good, and they have had the full confidence of every 
man and woman in the whole country, and consequently have nearly 
an equal circulation all over the country. If so, what would be 
Ohio's quota of the circulation of any given bank? Let us see: 
Ohio has about one-fifteenth of the entire population of the coun- 
try, but say one-tenth of the business transactions. Upon this 
basis, her proportion of the circulation notes of a medium sized 
National bank— say with a capital of $200,000— would be $20,000 for 
the entire State, or about $227, on an average, to each county. 


Hence, where lies the danger of resumption at any time in the near 
future, or even to-morrow, if necessary? Much less of Gen. 
Beatty's scarecrow, "universal bankruptcy." 

The silver circulation of "the daddies" was almost exclusively of 
foreign coinage; there was very little United States coinage ever 
seen. But, after the wholesale charter of new banks by the States 
of Kentucky and Ohio, silver came into demand, and small change 
became very scarce; "cut money" was resorted to for public con- 
venience. Thus were "our daddies" supplied with small change. 
However, most of the newly chartered banks were short lived. In 
Kentucky they were followed by the mammoth Commonwealth 
Bank, whose charter did not require specie payments for its notes . 
That great bank was designed as a panacea for all Kentucky's 
financial troubles; but it did not work very well. New courts 
became requisite to reverse the decisions of old ones, which had 
pronounced the charter unconstitutional. Of course interminable 
lawsuits followed, making confusion worse confounded. 

So, upon the whole, I think — indeed, I know — that between the 
silver dollar and its division into nine or ten ninepences, wildcat 
money, and shinplasters, our daddies' financial situation was not so 
enviable, in any particular, that their sons should be called upon to 
follow in their footsteps, more especially as we have now the best 
currency, minus the silver dollar, the world ever saw, and plenty of 
it, just as soon as fair inducements can be offered to call it out. 



[For the Cincinnati Gazette, July 1, 1878.] 


Please grant me a further small space in your paper to my hastily 
written and rather rambling article of last week. I repeat, I cannot 
conceive how the silver dollar can aid resumption, or otherwise im- 
prove our financial matters, in any particular. If it ever did, within 
the last twenty-five years, contribute anything more than a nominal 
aid in that direction, it has now lost, by reason of the depreciation 
in the intrinsic value of silver, all the influence it ever possessed. 
The silver dollar is too cumbersome and inconvenient in the hand- 
ling, ever again, in this progressive age, to be used, to any important 
extent, either as a circulating medium or for hoarding purposes. 

Before the war, the two great and controlling impediments in the 
way of sustaining specie payments were : 

1. The want of confidence in the paper circulation, causing coin 
alone to be hoarded. Now, although that element has grown to 
enormous dimensions, comparatively, yet the ever reliable United 
States bonds, together with our excellent par paper currency, will 
be found equal to any emergency, and will doubtless satisfy all 
demands for that purpose, without any material aid from coin. 

2. The foreign exchanges, from time immemorial, so to speak, have 
heen largely against us, sometimes to the amount of $100,000,000, 
and even more, in a single year, causing a perpetual drain of coin 
to pay adverse balances. Now, that state of things is wholly and 
entirely reversed, with an almost certain prospect of remaining so, 

96 THE daddies' dollar again. 

possibly, for all time. Therefore, under those most favorable circum- 
stances, with our popular bonds and unrivaled paper currency, 
including the one and two dollar notes, and from one to two hundred 
million dollars per annum of foreign exchange in our favor, the 
result of which latter, even if the silver bill had never been thought 
of, would probably have secured a heavy flow of gold to our shores, 
after paying the interest on bonds and all other evidences of debt held 
across the water, I think it unfortunate that Congress, in spite of 
the President's veto, should have deemed it necessary to resort to the 
resurrection from the tomb, as it were, of a financial relic, ostensibly 
to assist in accomplishing what could have been done so much better 
without it. So I think, the silver dollar of our "dads" will prove an 
embarrassing drawback to resumption, rather than otherwise. 



[For the Cincinnati Gazette, 1879. J 



After reading an article in Scribner's Monthly for January, entitled, 
"At the Old Bull's Head," your correspondent called upon William 
Renick, Esq., of this place, who is the oldest cattle drover in the 
country. In the Bull's Head article it says: "About 1825, Felix 
Renick brought the pioneer herd of Ohio cattle through to the 

Felix Renick never was in New York with cattle, but in 1817, 
he sent to Philadelphia the finest and largest drove of 100 head of 
cattle that ever crossed the mountains, averaging, at home, more than 
1,300 pounds net. Twenty of the best sold for $160 per head, the 
wfyole lot averaging $133, the market being $10.50@$11, net. In 
1818, the first drove that was ever taken to New York from the 
West was sent by George Renick and Joseph Harness, in charge of 
a man named Drinnen. The hundred head in the drove were 
valued, when at home, at $52 each, and sold in New York for $69 

The enterprise would have realized a handsome profit, but for the 
bad management of Drinnen. They were sold at the Bull's Head 
sale lot, which lot, tavern and all, only occupied the space now built 
over by the Bowery Theater. 


The second lot was taken by Richard Seymour, in 1824, and the 
third lot, three weeks later, by Wr. Renick himself. It took him 
about eight weeks to drive through, and was assisted by two footmen 
and a fellow horseman. The average expense was $9 per day. This 
and like undertakings were reasonably profitable. 

Mr. Renick says he never saw or heard of Daniel Drew's apple 
jack, but the rum at the Bull's Head was very superior. The occa- 
sion of his taking the first drove to New York, was the glut in the 
Philadelphia market, where he arrived Saturday night. Taking the 
Sunday afternoon mail coach, he reached New York about sunrise 
Monday morning, and stopping at the Bull's Head, was met at the 
door by Daniel Drew, who immediately asked him what he would have 
to drink, and highly recommended the superior quality of his 
Jamaica rum. This was in 1824, and the Bull's Head article says, 
" Peter Valentine abdicated (the hotel proprietorship) about 1828 in 
favor of Daniel Drew." 

Apropos to the subject, Mr. Renick said in those days it was the 
custom among the butchers of New York to bleed the cattle freely 
in the neck each day previously to killing the animals. A butcher 
would buy, say six or eight cattle, take them to his slaughter yard 
and tie them to posts, and bleed each steer in the neck till he would 
drop, and then take them out to pasture or feed, bring all back the 
next day, kill one or two, and again bleed the remainder, and so on 
each day till all were slaughtered. If any cattle were sold without 
bleeding (which was rarely done) fifty cents per hundred was 
deducted from the price. This was done to make the meat look veal 
like. This was a practice that is scarcely remembered by the oldest 
butchers. L . R. 



[ For the Union-Herald, 1879.] 



Inasmuch as you last week quoted a few remarks concerning the 
early cattle trade from the West, contributed to the Cincinnati 
Gazette, by its Circleville correspondent, I will endeavor to give you 
a little more extended account of a trade that, for more than a half 
century, contributed so largely to the wealth and resources of the 
Scioto Valley, and, that has become historical from the fact which 
there are now T but few living witnesses. My father, George Renick, 
who was the sole pioneer of the business of fattening cattle with the 
view of sending them to an Eastern market, opened a store in 
Chillicothe in the Fall of 1802, and soon thereafter, perceiving the 
great want of a market for the fast accumulating products of the 
rich soil endeavored to prevail on some of his friends, who had pre^ 
ceded him and owned and lived on farms, to feed their surplus corn 
to cattle, but they one and all declined. They thought the project 
too chimerical and hazardous for them to try; and friends still 
remaining on the South Branch, Virginia, hooted at the idea that 
fattening cattle for an Eastern market could ever be done West of 
the Ohio, the distance to drive being too great, the cattle would be so 
reduced in flesh as to be unsalable only as store or stock cattle ; they 
feared no competition from Ohio. But my father, although meeting 
with discouragement on every hand, and well knowing that the only 


reliable feed for cattle while driving, both through Ohio and through 
the mountains, would necessarily be the wild range, under the 
conviction that the enterprise was not impracticable, and having 
purchased a farm in the immediate vicinity of Chillicothe, and being 
well acquainted with the business, concluded he would try the 
experiment himself. So my birthday was commemorated by the 
first feed ever thrown to cattle, with a view of fattening them for an 
Eastern market, northwest of the Ohio river, the 12th day of Nov- 
ember, 1804. Those cattle were started for Baltimore in the Spring 
of 1805, the enterprise proving highly satisfactory. 

The result of that enterprise was the opening of another avenue 
of trade, to the great benefit of the chief product of the rich bottom 
lands which were not adapted to wheat culture. The business 
however did not increase rapidly for many years thereafter, partly 
owing to the want of money wherewith to purchase cattle, and to the 
great freshet of 1805, which had swept off all the corn remaining 
ungathered, and much that had been gathered, as well as the fenc- 
ing, discouraging to some extent, for a time at least, the culture of 
low bottom land ; and it was not till after the close of the war of 
1812 that it began to flourish vigorously and assume the proportions 
of the extensive and important business to which it afterward 
attained, when Pickaway county alone corn fed 16,000 cattle by 
actual enumeration in a single year, equivalent, from the lavish 
manner that cattle were fed in those days, to a consumption of 
perhaps nearly or quite one million bushels of corn. 

But it was many years after the commencement of driving cattle 
before there was preparation on the road sufficient to prosecute that 
business systematically; even as late as 1820, the year that I com- 
menced, there were no ferryboats on the large rivers to transport 
the cattle across. To cross the Ohio river at Martin's Ferry, above 
Wheeling, I and my drivers had to assist the ferryman and his 
hands to arrange or fix temporary cattle racks to the boat before we 
could cross. We had to swim the Monongahela when it was flush ; 


and preparations for feed on the route were very limited and 
uncertain, because the business was as yet too limited to justify 
regular preparations; but for stock cattle and hogs ample provision 
was made years before. 

The driver of cattle in those days had not the easy and careless time 
of those of later date. And when the cattle arrived in Philadelphia 
or New York, even the salesman had to be vigilant and watchful, as 
the single sale lot in both cities, taverns, stables and all, did not 
cover much over half an acre of ground, and all the cattle offered 
for sale, no matter how many different owners, had to be thrown 
together in these lots, so it behooved the salesman to personally know 
his cattle, or to have an attendant to identify each animal. 

Apropos of this subject, I will say that Daniel Drew kept the 
Bull's Head tavern and cattle yard, where Bowery Theater now 
stands, in both years, 1824-5, the Scribner article to the contrary 
notwithstanding. W. R. 




[For the Circleville Herald, February, 1879.] 


In compliance with your request I hereby endeavor to give you, 
partially at least, my remembrance of the state of weather during 
some of the winters of an earlier period, though I admit that I am 
not so well qualified as I was years ago, when I gave the matter 
considerable attention, which I have of late neglected, and have lost 
a record of the occurrence of unusual incidents that I kept. 

Previous to the winter of 1828-9 we had several hard winters, 
but no sleighing snows for six or seven years. In December, 1828, 
we had a fine sleighing snow that lasted a long time, six weeks or 
more, but there were scarcely any sleighs in good condition in the 
country; all had rotted down. It was said that when the snow fell 
there was not a single sleigh in the town of Circleville fit for use. 
Small saplings and store boxes came into active demand, and for a 
time all the sleighs were of the same style. In confirmation of the 
fact that there were no sleighs, I will relate my own experience: 
Previous to that I had requested Mr. Jonathan Ellis, a carpenter 
and cabinet maker, to make me a sleigh, but he replied that he had 
no stuff for runners, and sleighs had become a superfluous article, 
there having been no snow for several years, when he made a sleigh 
for Doc. Steely, who came for it on Saturday, but it was not done, 
and they both worked on it till near midnight, to finish it, so that 
the Doctor could take his family to church next day. He did so, 
and returned in the mud. Shortly after he put the sleigh in the 


loft of his bark house (he was a tanner by trade, but had quit that 
and was practicing as a "steam doctor"), and 'Squire Ellis said it 
had not been down for seven years. While the snow alluded to was 
yet falling, I had the gears and saddle put on my horse, and started off 
to buy Steely's sleigh. I found 'Squire Ray hitching his horse to it, 
having just bought it for seven dollars. Remarking that it was 
double its worth, I offered the 'Squire two dollars more for his 
bargain, and got the sleigh. While this snow was falling, a carriage 
maker in Chillicothe sold a sleigh he had made some years before 
for $10, and that sleigh was sold and re-sold until the price paid for 
it at one time reached $30, and afterward was bought for $10. 

The month of January, 1827, I have always thought the coldest 
month I ever experienced, though thermometers were wanting in 
this part of the country to aid us in comparing the degree of cold. 
I think it snowed not less than twenty days in that month, though 
all put together would not have made sleighing, and many days it 
was more like frost in the air. 

Though there were several hard winters from 1820 to 1828, we 
had one exceptionally warm one, incomparably warmer than we 
have had since. Old Major Boggs told me the winter of 1798-99 
was similar, remarking that if it had not been so the pioneers would 
have had a hard time, as they had no feed whatever for their stock, 
other than the wild range. During the winter of 1827-8 we had but 
one short, slight freeze of a few days' duration, toward the latter part 
of January. I was living on Darby, and having no fat hogs to kill 
for family use, I bought early in November some to kill on the first 
occasion when the weather would allow. Near the middle of Jan- 
uary I became impatient, and killed with the first chilly breeze, with 
the result of losing the larger part of the offal and sausage meat, 
besides a part intended for bacon, and it was reported that the packers 
of pork at Richmond, Va., (which at that time was a market for 
Southern Ohio hogs second only to Baltimore) lost heavily, one house 
losing an entire day's killing, seven hundred in number. 


Two incidents during that winter, that I have on different 
occasions refrained from telling, for fear that they would be deemed 
" fishy/' came under my observation, but are true to the very letter. 
On the first day of January, 1828, I had four hands engaged in 
replacing a fence between a cornfield and a feed lot which the 
freshet had swept away — two oldish and two young men. The old 
men took off shoes and stockings and rolled up their pants, working 
in the shallow water, which was in places two feet deep. The young 
men stripped off all but their shirts, and getting very dirty in 
handling the muddy rails, they took off their shirts and swam in the 

The other, that may to some appear in the fabulous order, is that 
on the first day of February, 1828, I hung my father's thermometer 
in a very favorable situation, protected from all breezes but the 
southeast, and exposed to the full power of the noonday sun; it 
marked 112° at about 1 o'clock. 

I have kept a thermometer for over fifty years, and the lowest I 
have ever seen it mark was 22° below zero on two occasions. One 
of them was the 22d of February, 22° below at 5 o'clock A. M., 12° 
below at 7 A. M., and 44° above at 12 M. This last was taken, not 
only from my own thermometer, but from two good and well tried 
ones in the city. I do not remember the year; think it was 1836. 
The other was in January, 1855, I think; at one other time it was 
20° below, and lately, the fourth coldest morning, at 19° below. I 
have never seen my thermometer touch 100°, but once 99J°, and 
once full 99°. w. r. 



[ For the Union-Herald, March 7, 1879.J 


For more than twenty years after Ohio was admitted as a State, 
almost all distant intercourse between man and man — almost all in- 
dividual migration from one locality to another, however distant, 
was performed on horseback. Members of Congress, merchants, 
and, indeed, all men and women of high or low degree, had, 
necessarily, to adopt the same mode of travel, as the cheapest and 
most practical, if not the speediest and easiest; and, as the most 
rigid economy was practiced, by all classes, the two former consid- 
erations generally decided the question. The style of living, while 
traveling, was both simple and frugal; instead of dinner on the way, 
a cold "jack" (check) costing nine pence (12J cents) sufficed on all 
occasions. A person contemplating an extended journey could cal- 
culate very closely, if he knew the time required, the expenses of the 
trip, so uniform were the charges all over the country, to- wit: 
breakfast and horse feed, 37J cents; cold check and horse feed for 
noon, 25 cents; supper and lodging, with horse well cared for, and 
given all the hay and oats he could eat, 62 J cents; and at each 
stopping place a dram or two was supplemented, without cost, and 
the traveler who did not take a dram was an exception to the gen- 
eral custom. The liquors were all pure at that time, and the drams 
were generally very moderate in quantity, not that the landlords 
required them to be so, for they would set out the bottles, and the 
traveler would help himself. 


To further carry out their habitual practice of economy, the 
merchants, and, indeed, all other persons, if their destination 
was a city where they expected to remain a short time, would leave 
their horses some 6, 12 to 20 miles out, where they could be more 
cheaply kept. In Philadelphia, which city had almost a monopoly 
of the western mercantile trade, the hotels would be crowded every 
Spring and Fall, yet scarcely a western horse could be found in their 
stables. Taverns for the accommodation of that large horseback 
travel were very numerous on all the principal roads, one, perhaps, 
for every two to four or five miles, as the country was more or less 
populous. There were, for a long time, seven or eight public 
taverns between Circleville and Chillicothe, eighteen miles, without 
counting the hotels or taverns in either place, and I do not think 
they were more numerous in this locality than elsewhere of equal 
population. Indeed, almost every two-storied house, especially if it 
had two front ground floor rooms, situated within a few rods of the 
road, was a tavern, or, if not a tavern, very apt to be a house of 
private entertainment. However, the landlords in general did not 
depend solely upon the tavern for their support. In most cases a 
farm was attached. In Kentucky the taverns were less numerous, 
but were generally better buildings, at least between Lexington and 
Ma ysville. The foregoing remarks have reference, more particu- 
larly, to the manners and customs that prevailed from 1820 to 1825, 
both inclusive, during which time I was riding on horseback some 
five or six thousand miles a year, over the Middle and Western 
States. My opportunities for observation were especially good. 

The terrible shrinkage of values which occurred from 1819 
to 1825, with which those of the last six years will bear no compari- 
son, rendered the strictest economy necessary by all classes. Yet 
there was not a tithe of discontent and complaint among the people 
generally then, that has prevailed for the past five or six years. The 
people of that day took a more sensible and philosophical view of 
the situation. They did not attribute the ruinously altered state of 


affairs from those existing a few years before, to any mismanagement 
or connivance of Government, as they do now; much less did they 
charge or blame any class of society or portion of the people with 
bringing about the serious ordeal of depression they were then 
passing through, as those of the present day have done. But then 
there were no political parties to agitate, and political demagogism 
was in its infancy, if it existed at all, and was powerless for mischief; 
and the whole people, after a time, quietly acquiesced in letting 
matters take their course. Yet in the beginning of depression there 
was the same clamor for more money by a portion of the people that 
there has been of late, and they speedily got it, by the chartering of 
some seventy or eighty or more new banks by the States of Ohio 
and Kentucky. Previous to that the paper circulation was all good, 
but those new banks soon flooded both States with wild cat money, 
and, to help the matter along, hundreds of individuals threw out 
their shinplasters for small change. Then followed a financial chaos 
for a time. But the general result was that the quantity of money, 
for the lack of quality, perhaps, failed to raise prices. The people 
were worse off than before. Instead of good money, they had now 
chiefly these wild cat notes and shinplasters, one about as good as 
the other in their respective neighborhoods — both distrusted by 
everybody. However, most of these new institutions were short- 
lived, and finally matters settled down, and the people, after learning 
how really few their necessary wants were, became reconciled to the 
situation and comparatively content. 

Late in the Summer of 1822, 1 met with a very intelligent and well 
informed Englishman at Perril's tavern, on the old Limestone road, 
nine miles southwest of Bainbridge, Ross county, and I traveled with 
him several miles. I cannot now remember the conversation, but of 
the substance of some of the remarks I have a distinct recollection. 
He told me he had been in the United States several months, viewing 
the country, and informing himself as to the habits and customs of 
the people, and was on his way to Kentucky to visit in a slave State. 


He said he was well pleased with the country, and highly pleased 
with its people. From what he had seen he thought they were the 
best contented people he had ever been among, and that it was a great 
surprise, in view of the fact that there had been such a terrible 
shrinkage in prices so recently, and that now nothing they could 
produce or raise would pay them for their labor. He also said that 
he had not seen nearly so much drunkenness here as in England and 
Scotland ; yet he thought that could not arise from want of opportu- 
nity, as he said liquors had invariably been set out to him at every 
stopping place, "free gratis." 

That the reader may have a better idea of the shrinkage, I will give 
the prices that prevailed at the following periods : In 1816-17, my 
father had a common laboring man in his employ at $16 per month, 
and board, and kept his horse Winter and Summer gratis. I know 
the price was considered reasonable. In 1824, I was engineer and 
superintendent for the erection of a large levee, and almost every 
day had applications for work ; some days five or six men applied, in 
the aggregate many times more than I could find employment for, 
and all were willing to work for five dollars a month and board. 
A good ox driver I paid six dollars. Lands depreciated in value 
from $50@$60 per acre in the former period to $15 and $20 in the 
latter, or from $20@,$30 to $7.50 and $10; and fat hogs from $6.50 
nett, to $2, or less; wheat from $1@1.25 to 25 cents, payable in store 
goods ; corn from 25@37^ cents to 8J cents, and this was the ruling 
price for that article in the Fall of the year, in the field, for several 
years. Doubtless the country could withstand, at that time, a much 
more severe pressure than now, without materially affecting one 
interest more than another. Then our manufacturers were very 
limited in extent, and chiefly confined to productions of the lower 
grades, which the people could not do without. Heavy cottons had 
considerable protection from the tariff of 1816, consequently mill 
manufactures, of textile fabrics in particular, did not very seriously 
feel the effects of the reduced consumption which such protracted 


economy would bring about now, and besides, the domestic or family 
manufacture, which was probably much the greater industry of the 
two, at least in the West, scarcely felt the pressure at all ; indeed it 
was rather encouraged. 

Probably few persons of the present day can appreciate the extent 
of our domestic manufactures at that time in the States of Ohio and 
Kentucky. In Kentucky, in particular, the house, from the moder- 
ately well-to-do farmer up to the richest, without a loom and 
spinning wheel, was an exception. Home-made manufactures were 
fostered and encouraged by all. I have seen Gen. Green Clay, a 
very wealthy man, dressed out in domestics made in his own house, 
and this was the habitual practice of most of the rich farmers of 
Kentucky, and the town people, too. Henry Clay took great pride 
in going to Congress in full domestic dress, made in his own house, 
by his own family. Two young ladies of Kentucky, relatives of 
mine, and whose father was rich, made each year two extra fine 
pieces of jeans, besides a more common article, and each year I got of 
them a suit which my young friends and associates were so pleased 
with, that time and again I was pressingly importuned to procure 
for them some of the same, they declaring it was the prettiest goods 
they had ever seen. I am sure I have never seen any mill manu- 
factured goods of that kind, that would compare with that made by 
the young ladies, in softness, silky feel, and general fresh appearance. 
Neither in Ohio, nor Kentucky, were the manufactures confined to 
woolen goods, but in the latter State, flax and hemp linens were 
largely made, and cotton bagging and rope very extensively. In 
both States manufactures of every kind were prosecuted, nor were 
those manufactures confined to the towns, but were to be found all 
over and through the country, away from the towns. If you were 
in want of a hat, pair of boots, a gun, or furniture of any kind, up to 
a piano, or other household goods, you could be supplied without the 
necessity of going to town. The two most highly finished bedsteads 
I ever owned, were made in Pickaway county, away from any town. 


But what a revolution has taken place in our manufacturing 
interests! They have grown to such enormous proportions that any 
protracted economy exercised now is sure to produce disastrous 
results to the country at large, by throwing out of employment 
hundreds of thousand of workingmen and women. Consequently 
strict economy generally followed is no longer a cure for hard times, 
but the reverse. It acts something like reducing to practice the old 
proverb, "Robbing Peter to pay Paul." 

As a further proof that there was no unusual discontent among 
the people, of the date alluded to, was their indifference to political 
matters, elections being so slimly attended, sometimes the townships 
would make no returns, and at other times the returns would read 
"no election held." I remember one return that read something 
like this: "No election held for want of voters; election adjourned 
over till next year." I did not, myself, cast my first vote till I was 
24 years old; generally only local matters would draw out a 
considerable vote. This shows that the people had no complaints to 
make, nor wrongs to redress, but that they had entire confidence in 
the Government. Then there were no conventions; no caucuses to 
nominate candidates and misrepresent matters, and demand the 
support of the voters for this man or that, whether honest and 
qualified or not, but merely to advance the interests of some mem- 
bers of cliques or rings. Each candidate advertised himself, or his 
friends did it for him, with or without his consent. I remember one 
year Pickaway county had three members to elect to the Legislature, 
and there were thirteen candidates offered. One of them signed his 
name to his advertisement, "John Stevenson, better known by the 
name of Jack Stinson." Now Jack was a well and widely known 
personage, but voters would have been apt to inquire who John 
Stevenson was. Jack was smart, but failed to be elected. 

In conclusion I will say, that after financial matters, which had 
been so disturbed by the wholesale chartering of new banks, had 
become somewhat settled down, the surviving banks had plenty of 


unemployed money in their vaults, and were solicitors of customers. 
I was repeatedly solicited by the officers of both the Chillicothe and 
United States Branch Bank to do my business with them respect- 
ively, they offering to loan me all the money I might want, the 
former on six months paper, renewable, at six per cent, per annum, 
the latter on the same conditions, but for only three months, but 
also renewable, which was all the charter or rules allowed. A man 
of straw who could have given two good and approved endorsers, 
could have got, then, all the money he wanted. Then, as now, it 
was not the want of money — though it was many times scarcer 
among the people generally than it has been of late years — that 
prolonged the hard times, but simply and purely, then, as now, the 
want of profitable employment for what was then already in hand 
and awaiting investment. Hence I ask, in the name of common 
sense, what good could possibly be derived from adding to an already 
overstock of unemployed money? Its advocacy is evidently all 
sheer political demagogical humbug, to gain votes to help hoist some 
partisan into office. W. R. 



[For the Democrat and Watchman.] 



A recent visit to the west part of our county shows the vast 
improvement and benefit to that part of our territory by the 
construction of the many and excellent roads under the provisions of 
the Road Law. In many cases the amount assessed and collected 
as taxes upon the owners of the land in the line of the road and 
vicinity was felt to be a burden, but I believe it will be found that 
few, if any, of the land-holders would be willing to have his money 
refunded and surrender the advantages that good roads give. All 
the roads constructed under this law are known as gravel roads, but 
my object is to make the public aware of the great benefits conferred 
by a quiet citizen of our city. 

About the year 1840 this county was a party to the building of 
the road from the county line on the east to the county line on the 
west, and thence to Cincinnati. That road was constructed at an 
expense of over $5,030 per mile, being constructed on the Macadam 
plan, except that instead of cubical, or broken stone, screened 
gravel was used. Much expense was made in grading, ditching and 
in removing the surface soil. 

The great expense of these roads made it impossible to construct 
them after the repeal of the law by which the State became a 
stockholder of one-half the whole; that is, the State subscribed as 


much as all others. This law was known by the name of the 
"Plunder Law." 

In 1842, or thereabout, the road from Circleville to Chillicothe 
was chartered, but the amount supposed to be necessary could not 
be raised by subscription. William Renick, Esq., was much inter- 
ested in the location and building of this road. He proposed that 
clean, unscreened gravel should be laid down on the line of the old 
road, except where it was necessary to straighten it, the gravel to be 
put on to the depth of four to six inches at each covering, until the 
road was covered with ten or twelve inches of gravel, each covering 
to be well packed and smoothed before the next was put on. He 
insisted that an ordinarily good road could be built on this plan at 
an expense not to exceed $1,200 per mile, not equal to the perfectly 
constructed Macadam road, but such a road as would give all the 
advantages of the same, and with a little attention in repairs would 
be kept so. Mr. Renick found no one to agree with him; in fact the 
Directors of the road deemed his plan so chimerical that during his 
absence East they let the grading of ten miles of road to a Mr. 
Robinson, who was a practical road maker, on the old plan. On 
Mr. Renick's return home he so discouraged Mr. Robinson about 
his ever being paid for a road of that character, that he, Robinson, 
threw up his contract, although he had been at work on the road 
for a week or more, with considerable force. The Directors then 
re-let the road to Mr. Robinson to grade, gravel and finish for the 
same price per rod, that the grading alone had been contracted for. 
Thus the Directors were compelled to adopt, essentially, the plan 
proposed by Mr. Renick. There was no help for it; there could not 
be money enough raised to make a more expensive road. 

This I believe was the first road of the kind constructed in Ohio, 
or elsewhere. Much comment, quizzing and unfavorable criticism 
was made during the progress; in fact Mr. Goodman, who was 
deeply interested in the road, acknowledged that at times he felt 
ashamed of their road. In time several sections were finished and 


put into use. The experiment was a success, the road became 
sooner packed, was less rough, and constructed at a cost of not 
exceeding $1,200 per mile, bridges included. The road from Cir- 
cleville to Chillicothe was thus completed, and Mr. Robinson, the 
contractor, spent his life in building roads of the same character in 
other sections of Ohio. This road attracted the attention of 
Engineers and public men, and I think I am safe in saying that no 
turnpike in Ohio has since been built upon any other plan, and 
while the names of Macadam, Telford and Whistler are on the roll 
of fame as Engineers and road builders, our fellow-citizen, who has 
given to our county and State a plan by which roads are constructed 
at one-fourth of their former cost, and answering all our purposes 
equally well, with the more expensive kinds, is not generally known 
as the Inventor. Mr. Renick had before this, noticed that a piece 
of low and muddy road across the land, and near the residence of a 
neighbor, had been filled with gravel, which happened to be con- 
venient and good, without grading or draining, made a good road in 
all weather, contrary to the expectation of his neighbor, when he 
put it on for temporary use. He had also observed that the high 
grading of the soil covered with gravel of four or six inches during 
the freezing and thawing of winter was soon lost, and out of sight. 
He also observed that the traveled way furnished the best 
foundation, and that in most cases the inequalities of surface 
furnished a sufficient drainage. If these things had been observed 
by others, no one availed themselves of their practical advantages. 
I doubt not but for the observation of Mr. Renick and his peristent 
efforts, that we would now be pursuing the Macadam or Telford 
plan, and that the consequence would be that the road from the 
county line on the east to the county line on the west would be 
the only turnpike road in the county. 

From the days of Julius Caesar to the time of Macadam there 
was but one plan for great public roads, and that was a pavement, 
either of heavy, thick stone laid, flat, or on the edges and dressed 


smooth. Macadam broke his stones into cubes of from 1J to 2 
inches, and put them on a prepared grade of eath made hard. The 
National Road in Eastern Ohio was built after this plan, at a cost of 
$15,000 or $16,000 per mile. Telford put a pavement down and 
covered it with broken stone and screened gravel. Mr. Renick 
selected good gravel and had it laid down on the traveled way, 
spending but little labor or expense in grading, ditching, drainage 
or removing the surface soil. We are inclined to run in ruts — it is 
now daily seen on our roads. The man who pulls us out and puts 
us in a better way, becomes a public benefactor, and such I con- 
sider William Renick, Esq. P y. 

Note. — The foregoing article was contributed to the newspaper named, 
several years ago, by the Hon. H. N. Hedges, Sen., who was well posted in 
relation to the manner of constructing ancient as well as modern turnpikes, 
including the cost of the latter, and especially was he familiar with the 
particulars in detail in the building of the Columbus and Portsmouth road, 
including the difficulties to be encountered and overcome before the final 
adoption of the plan. 

The Lancaster and Milford road alluded to by Judge Hedges, as costing 
$5,000 per mile, was built a few years previous to the Columbus and Ports- 
mouth road, and I submitted my plan to the Directors of that road, but 
they deemed it of too chimerical a character to give it serious consideration. 

Erratum. — For Portsmouth, in foot note, page 115, read Chillicothe. 


RDlEEfc, DflSflb 

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Renick, William. 
| Memoirs, correspondence and 

Central Texas Rm ADU REF